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Hold On: Do Not Give Up

James 1:2-4

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces patience. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.


Dear beloved, there are moments in our lives when we feel overwhelmed by the tide of challenges and adversities that seem to relentlessly surge against us. In these times, the temptation to give up can be overwhelming. But remember, we are followers of Christ, and our faith teaches us the power of perseverance.


The above passage might seem counterintuitive at first. Joy in trials? But that is the mystery and beauty of our faith. James is not asking us to be joyful for the trials themselves, but for what they produce in us - perseverance. Each trial is an opportunity to grow in faith, to deepen our relationship with God, and to become more like Christ, who himself endured the greatest of trials for our sake.


Consider the life of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. He was no stranger to suffering. He was despised, rejected, and ultimately crucified. Yet, in the face of unimaginable pain and suffering, He did not give up. He held on, knowing that His suffering was not in vain, but was for the redemption of humanity.


In the garden of Gethsemane, just before His arrest, Jesus prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will" (Matthew 26:39). Even in His deepest anguish, Jesus did not give up. He surrendered to the will of the Father, trusting in His divine plan.


Beloved, we are called to do the same. When we face trials, we must not give up. We must hold on, persevere, and trust in God's plan for us. We must remember that our trials are not punishments, but opportunities for growth. They are the refining fire that purifies our faith, making it stronger and more resilient.


In the book of Isaiah, God reassures us, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze" (Isaiah 43:2).


God does not promise us a life free from trials. But He does promise to be with us in the midst of them. He promises that the waters will not overwhelm us, the rivers will not sweep us away, and the fire will not consume us. We are not alone in our struggles. God is with us, strengthening us, guiding us, and helping us to persevere.


So, beloved, do not give up. Hold on. Persevere. The same God who was with Daniel in the lion's den, with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace, and with Jesus on the cross, is with you now. Trust in Him, lean on Him, and let your trials produce in you a faith that is mature, complete, and lacking in nothing.


May God bless you with His peace, strength, and perseverance, today and always. Amen.