TODAY'S WORD FOR Friday, June 01, 2018:
A slow mover; a mollusk with a spiral shell.An act of helpful activity; the serving of God in obedience; work done in subjection to another.
But we also glory (rejoice) in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance and perseverance, character, and character, hope.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
We are sure that many who begin to read this devotional today are asking themselves, “WHY SNAIL?” But we hope you will read on because we have good reasons for choosing this word. One of our earliest childhood experiences was watching snails crawl around in our yard. We could not help but notice how slow they were.
We understand now that a snail can move at a speed of 40 feet an hour. No wonder we often use the phrase, “moving at a snail’s pace” when we refer to extreme slowness. When I (Ken) was a young child I remember asking my father if the snail made it onto Noah’s ark. I do not remember how he answered me but I do remember his laugh. In today’s world we have very little patience for anything that goes at a snail’s pace. When things do not come quickly and easily, most people just give up.
We want to discuss today one of the virtues that a snail has. That virtue is perseverance. The great preacher, Charles Spurgeon, apparently observed snails because one of his most famous sermons was titled, “By perseverance the snail reached the ark.” When I (Ken) attended Seminary, our class had an assignment to review that sermon and we did. Our conclusion was that the snail continues to persevere at his slow pace until he reaches his goal.
The apostle Paul in the verse we have put above tells us that perseverance in spite of tribulations and suffering is a key component in character development. Paul states that tribulation produces perseverance and upon that building block character and hope are founded.
No one likes suffering yet like Paul we can have reason to rejoice in our sufferings. As believers we can rejoice because God uses the pain and suffering we endure to build our character. Trials and tribulations are part of God’s refining process to remove impurities in our life and teach us patience and endurance and mold us into what He wants us to be, conformed to His likeness.
We read in I Peter 1:6-9 that no matter what our trials are, when we persevere and our faith endures, we have the sure hope of the outcome of our faith, which is the salvation of our souls and the sure reward of spending eternity in heaven with our Lord and Savior. Like the snail we are to persevere until we reach our goal.
The original Greek word translated “perseverance’ means steadfastness, consistency and endurance. It is used in the scriptures referring to believers who endured in their walk of faith with the Lord. They persevered in spite of their many painful trials.
Jesus warns us as recorded in John 15:20 that, “If they persecuted Me they will persecute you also.” So, it is clear to us that believers in Jesus today will not get through life without suffering in some way for their faith. We must all be prepared. We must ask ourselves, “Am I ready and willing to persevere in my walk with the Lord in spite of suffering?”
God does not ask us for a quick start or a fast finish. He expects from all of us a consistent persevering pace even if it is a snail’s pace. Great achievement in life demands great perseverance. Victory in our spiritual life demands perseverance in our trials and tribulations.
Our memory verse for this week is found in I Thessalonians 5:21-22.
Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.
Thank You for teaching me that I can expect tribulations in my life but these troubles and sufferings will produce perseverance. Keep me steadfast in my faith and give me the fortitude to be the spiritual leader You want me to be with my family, friends and neighbors.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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