Counting Our Blessings

Counting Our Blessings by Jim and Elizabeth George

As we head into the holiday season, I am reminded of the need to focus on spiritual blessings. In the midst of celebration and being surrounded by material blessings, let’s turn to the book of James. One reason I love the book of James is that along with advice to help us with our daily trials and challenges, we read in James 1:3-12 a list of benefits or blessings that come from going through trials. Let’s look closely at two of these verses.

Blessing #1 (verse 3) Perseverance

“You know that the testing of your faith produces [or develops] perseverance.”

“Perseverance” is a word that describes the strength God is building in you when you face tough times. God is right there with you to help you! Perseverance gives you what you need to hang in there until you make it through your problem, until you make it to the end.

Do you know the children’s story called The Little Engine That Could? You may remember that the engine had a tough time pulling the train up steep hills. But he persevered. As he chugged along, he kept saying, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”

My friend, God gives you His power and grace so you can say, “I know I can make it through this problem”—because He is producing perseverance in you.

Blessing #2 (verse 4) Spiritual Growth

“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Did anyone ever say to you when you were young, “Why don’t you just grow up?” Well, James is telling us that when we let perseverance finish its work in us, we grow up spiritually. Just as when you were a child doing your chores, or when you practiced an instrument or sport over and over, when you persevere you are experiencing the blessing of becoming “mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

God does not ask you or any of His people to understand our trials. But He does want us to trust Him and His wisdom and His plan for us. When you do this—when you trust God with your problems—you will find the blessings of joy in Him, joy in His promises, and joy in His perfect will for your special life.

RESPOND:

Lord Jesus, thank you for the reminder of the blessing of perseverance during trials. Help me to grow in my love for You and my family. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES:

In A Young Woman After God’s Own Heart: A Teen's Guide to Friends, Faith, Family, & the Future you will find yourself caught up in the exciting adventure of a lifetime—that of becoming a woman after God's own heart!

REFLECT:

After reading James 1:1-12, how can these verses help you live out your faith?

REMEMBER:

Remember the blessings and spiritual growth that come from persevering through trials.


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Jim and Elizabeth George

Jim and Elizabeth George are bestselling authors and national speakers dedicated to helping people live a life after God’s own heart. Together, they have written over 150 books with more than 14 million copies sold around the world. For over 35 years, the teachings and steadfast example of Elizabeth and Jim have helped countless men and women:

  • Simplify life by focusing on God’s priorities.
  • Appreciate God’s Word and apply it to everyday situations.
  • Respond to circumstances with confidence by seeing yourself through God’s loving eyes.
  • Increase closeness in marriage by serving and honoring each other.
  • Powerfully shape the hearts of children and teenagers.
  • Enjoy greater intimacy with God.

Learn more about Jim and Elizabeth George here.

Jim and Elizabeth George

Jim and Elizabeth George are bestselling authors and national speakers dedicated to helping people live a life after God’s own heart. Together, they have written over 150 books with more than 14 million copies sold around the world. For over 35 years, the teachings and steadfast example of Elizabeth and Jim have helped countless men and women:

  • Simplify life by focusing on God’s priorities.
  • Appreciate God’s Word and apply it to everyday situations.
  • Respond to circumstances with confidence by seeing yourself through God’s loving eyes.
  • Increase closeness in marriage by serving and honoring each other.
  • Powerfully shape the hearts of children and teenagers.
  • Enjoy greater intimacy with God.

Learn more about Jim and Elizabeth George here.


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