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Perseverance…who needs it! I do!

February 24, 2008

I recieved the most heartbreaking emails a few days ago.  A friend of mine had asked me to pray for her husbands’ brother & sister-law.  They had found out that they were pregnant.  It was very much unexpected, they were not planning on having a baby.  When they went in for a sonogram they were told that the baby most likely had downs syndrome & would have many other complications.  This was devestating news to them.  As with many doctors of today they were given the option of terminating the pregnancy.  That is when my friend asked us to please pray for them that they would not choose to terminate because they were considering it. 

My friend & her husband had experienced the same thing with their baby many years ago.  The baby had multiple problems and they were told that she would never make it to full term & the baby would not survive.  They were also given the option to terminate, but they refused, believing that God is the only giver & taker of life.  It would be up to God if he decided to take their baby girl and he did.  She delivered a very small baby girl and held the baby as she took her last breath.

My friend & her husband totally understand the turmoil that their brother & wife were going through and prayed fervently that they would not terminate the pregancy.

 The email I recieved the other day totally broke my heart & caused an anger to well up inside me as well as a sadness that consumed me.  The couple had decided to follow the doctors advice & the mother recieved an injection of the drug that would end her baby girl’s life.  They were now waiting for her body to respond & go into labor. 

“HOW COULD THEY DO THAT?”, I kept saying to myself.  I have never been in that situation myself, but I watched my friend go through it & still choose to not abort her baby.  I know the questions that went through their minds.  I know the anxiousness that they endured as they simply waited for their baby girl to die.  It was pure agony for them.

The life of the believer is not promised to be easy.  So many times people believe that if they say that prayer to accept Christ it is a ticket to an easy life with no more trials.  Then when trials do come, they feel cheated by God.

Scripture tells us over & over that we will endure trials.  Isaiah 43 is a great place to start.  But we never go through them alone.

James 1:2 tells us a strange thing.  He tells us to , “Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds.”  This verse baffled me when I was young in my salvation.  How are we to consider it a good thing when our life is falling apart?  How is losing your baby a joyful thing?  IT’S NOT!  That is not what James is saying.  He isn’t telling you to be glad that this is happening.  We are not expected to get all happy and gleeful when hard times happen to us.  There is more to the verse that helps to understand what he means.

Verse 3 says, “because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Perseverance is being determined to see something through.  It is not wanting to take the easy way out.  My friend had perseverance when she did not abort her baby girl.  She saw it through to God’s end as painful as it was.

We hate it when something happens that is not how we planned.  We hate it when life gets very uncomfortable and we start looking for a way out.

depression

I have had friends whose husbands have either lost their job, or have been threatened with job loss.  Immediately they begin making plans to sell their house or sell a carin preparations to make it through.  I encourage them to just wait.  Pray & wait.  If the Lord leads you to sell your house or car or take action like that then do it!  But if not, then wait & let him work.  He may have an absolutley amazing solution to what looks like an impossible situation, but you would miss out on it if you act based on your own panic to “do something”.

Developing perseverance will bring us to a new level in our relationship with God.  When we learn to embrace our trials rather than trying to get out of them we develop into mature christians.  Believe it or not our life as a christian is not based on how many trials we can experience.  It is based living in God’s grace. 

Living in God’s grace means that when a trial does come, you know that God is there and has a plan.  You can say to yourself that “God knows all about this and he is in control.”  You know that no matter how difficult or impossible the circumstance you will be stronger in the end.  It means that you know that you are not strong enough to endure that you have to rely on your God for strength and you are able to do that because of the perseverance you have developed.

 If you are in the midst of difficult times try just sitting still and asking God what to do.  Ask him to help you to respond in a way that will develop perseverance and maturity in you.  Just sit still and say,”help!”  If it is a true and pure request he will answer.  And be ready to be amazed at what he will do.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. womantowomancbe permalink
    February 24, 2008 5:42 pm

    Thank you for this post. I blogged about this recently. It sickens and saddens me that this couple killed their child as if Down Syndrome is too horrifying a condition to live with. Besides the fact that the screening done is notoriously inaccurate.

    I’m glad you included the story of the couple choosing to carry their baby till term, even knowing she would not live past birth. Because abortion *is* an option, women no longer consider that this too is an option. I read an old post somewhere of a woman who claimed to be a Christian who chose an abortion (technically, an induction too early for the baby to survive) to avoid continuing the pregnancy when her child was diagnosed with anencephaly. She considered it the right thing to do because she “just couldn’t bear” to keep carrying this baby with that knowledge. But if she were really a Christian, then she should know that God would enable her to bear it.

    Perseverance–so true!

    Kathy
    katsyfga.wordpress.com

  2. February 24, 2008 9:47 pm

    Thanks, I needed this reminder. Life is hard most days – we can rejoice in the character building.

  3. February 25, 2008 11:34 am

    The ironic part of this story is that these 2 couples are related. The couple who chose to abort know how difficult a time his brother & wife went through by not aborting their baby, but they also had a chance to see how much they learned and experienced about the grace of God. If they paid any attention, I don’t know.

    Thanks for your comments!

  4. Mamaw permalink
    February 26, 2008 11:00 pm

    This awful story is about my two sons and daughters-in-law.
    Each couple chose what they throught was right for them, and I love both of my boys very much. No, I do not agree with the chose that was made to abort my 7th grandchild but it was not my chose to make. My son knows how I feel about what was done. I have been sick since baby Ali was taken from her mommy, but it is done now and all I can do now is pray that God will give them peace.
    I know that my son was so happy when they found out they were having a little girl. I belive he was ready to be a daddy, but now I belive he will never have that chance again
    Please, don’t look down on my son and his wife for what they did,but pray for then.,they will have to live with this for the rest of their lives. They will need our love and Gods help. So I plead to you, love them, pray for them, forgive.

  5. February 27, 2008 3:14 pm

    Thank you so much for commenting. I cannot begin to know or understand the anguish that you and your family have felt. In the beginning, yes, I was very upset with your son & daughter-in-law, but the Lord quickly turned that anger to sadness. The emotion’s that they will be going through will be torment enough. I do pray for them, I pray that through this they will come to know Jesus and his love and mercy. It is their Saviors’ forgiveness that they need, not mine. You are right that they will need our love. Their family’s love and presence will be vital as they deal with the effects of their decision.
    You have another wonderful son & daughter-in-law that I have grown very fond of who have a very special relationship with their Lord Jesus. You are a great mother & mother-in-law! May God richly bless you & may your family rise and called you blessed!

  6. Jesus_saves permalink
    April 25, 2008 1:28 pm

    Dana thanks for including the abortion topic. I also like what you have said about waiting on the Lord. When God takes the centre stage of our lives all decisions made in our lives will be for His glory, opposite to that is the absence of the Holy spirit which leads to death.

    Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that seems right to a man,
    But its end is the way of death”.

    I pray that those who are in a predicament at this moment, seek God before considering abortion, for God would not command mankind to terminate life for whatever reason, because everything He creates is for His own glory and purpose. Acts 17:28 “For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring”.

    And anyone who has fallen in the trap of the enemy ( He is the main motivator of Killling, stealing and destruction), I pray for their salvation, healing and restoration that can only be found in Jesus. Isaiah 53:5 “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed”.

    Genesis 50:20 “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive”.

    That God will raise in each heart in the body of christ, a protest against laws that promote abortion and also support for men and women who are walking wounded as a result of abortion.

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