Behold, we count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.

James 5: 11

 

Does the sort of endurance that God counts as worthy of His blessing require that life be lived in some form of perfect obedience and complete submission to Him? I hope not. For it seems that I take frequent side trips and seem to have a continual need to head off in my own direction. Thus, there are all of these scrapes and bruises on my body, and I get to survey all of the damage that has been done to the world around me from my poor navigation and stubborn disobedience.

 

Rather, the Lord seems to value, understand, and appreciate the way that we respond to these times of wandering. He is always ready to redirect those errant steps, God provides the map back to righteous ground, and His Spirit helps us understand how to avoid the same poor decisions in the future. Endurance involves recognizing the truth of God’s commitment to me, accepting the Lord’s grace which is expressed in compassion and mercy, and seeking His wisdom in order to live in the center of His will in the future.

 

It seems that endurance also involves taking the gifts that God has given to me by way of His acceptance and love and allowing His attitudes to become the ones that prevail as I interact with others. Christ is the sole source of compassion and mercy in this world; yet, He wants His people to be deliverers of it as we travel through life. Christ desires that everyone who knows Him and thus receives His blessed gifts to relate to others in the same way as Christ does to us. We can make this day one that is filled with the loving grace of God as it is demonstrated through compassionate concern and merciful understanding and support for the people who we will meet. As we choose to show this compassion and mercy to others, we bring the Kingdom of God into our world.