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 perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Thoughts ~ The saguaro cactus is found in abundance all over the low deserts in Phoenix where I live. I’ve had fun looking at them as I drive around and have made up stories about them on long trips down to Tucson when I was painting murals there. These cactus represent true faith to me; praising God as they lift their arms up, no matter what. They have endured very hot weather, lightning bolts, storms, disease and vandals using them as target practice. They have been put through many tests, and yet, even though some of them look pretty sad, most seem to still have their arms lifted high, even as skeletons. They have endured the trials. They have persevered.
I want to be like those saguaros: persevering under trials, hardships, illness, financial woes, family difficulties, everything! These trials will produce in me, (in all of us) a stronger faith, a mature faith, as testing builds us up and we become the men and women God has intended us to be.
Action ~ Have a little fun today and look for a saguaro on Google or in a magazine. Cut it out and glue it on a piece or card stock. On the reverse side, make two columns and list trials as you go through them. Ask the Lord to give you all the strength you need to get through this difficult period. Later, when the trial is over, write down what you learned in the other column and how God used it to help mature your faith.
Pray ~ God, what a delight it is to have Your creations teach us lessons. May I be strong and lift my arms to You; may I persevere no matter what I go through.
Trusting in the Lord,