28 Feb Blessed Perseverance (James 5:9-12) by Mike Sanders
“As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” ~ James 5:9-12 (full readings)
Mike’s Reflections: How many times do we reflect on the past and complain or look to the future and get anxious or depressed? I often think it is fear that drives us to do these things, but then I reflect on fear and know that it is simply a thought…a thought of something that may or may not occur. It’s been over six years now that I have experienced (and often continue to experience) these thoughts when I had Stage IV squamous cell throat cancer. I surely thought that my time was about to come to end on this earth but the Lord has answered many prayers. As in today’s reading, it shares that “The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” He held me in His arms during my time of suffering (and continues to in my suffering from all the “collateral damage”), just as He has held me and protected me in all things from birth to now, just as He is doing with you. Think about it…He knew me before I was in my mother’s womb; He knew she would not abort me; He knew she was the right person to raise me; He knew she would care for me at all costs; He knew she would suffer and persevere so that I would understand how to; He knew so many would turn to Him in prayer during my journey with cancer; and He knew I would survive cancer and tell of His miracle in my life. When I reflect on these things, I find myself in awe of why would I even fear anything. Personally, I don’t like to live in fear and when these thoughts start to show themselves, I fight hard in remembering our Lord’s promises…those that say He is with us, He is directing our paths, and He loves us. Let us all “Fight Hard!” Remember you are counted as “Blessed” when you have persevered (vs 11). Persevere in all your struggles and rely on Him to give you direction…go to Him as a child to His mother or father… be the child of God that He loves with compassion and mercy!
* Mike Sanders and his bride, Laurie, have two children, Shawn and Jenna. He is a retired veteran of the United States Air Force (23+ years of service). He is very active in retirement as he continues to grow with the Lord as a father and a husband while additionally serving as a NCAA Division 2 collegiate cross country and track coach, the Protestant Parish Coordinator on Scott AFB, IL, a substitute teacher in the county, a youth teacher for his church community, and a personal fitness training instructor. Mike speaks on topics of character, leadership, encouragement, and his journey and blessing with stage IV throat cancer (for scheduling contact Mike Sanders, Belleville, IL on Facebook or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Faith Challenge: Pray that you do not grumble or complain so that you may be blessed as you persevere in your struggles. Look at where our Lord has placed you and consider how He shows you compassion and mercy.
Counter-Culture News: LifeSiteNews, LifeNews, American Family, Vatican, Project Rachel..
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Feast Day: St. Hilary, Pope
Faith Quote: “God knows our situation; He will not judge us as if we had no difficulties to overcome. What matters is the sincerity and perseverance of our will to overcome them.” ~ C.S. Lewis