June 20 – Faith & Perseverance

Read 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12

“More and more.”

These three words from verse 3 pack an aspirational punch, don’t they? Let’s hang on them for just a minute and ponder. . . do I look more and more like Christ? Does my character reflect God’s truth more and more? Is my faith growing deep into the ‘more and more?’

This is what the Christian faith is all about. Becoming. We want it all now. We shame ourselves for not being farther along. But does God? Is He pacing the floors of His celestial home, lamenting about our lack of ‘arrival?’ Why don’t my children have it together?

But God seems to be all about our process. Our ‘more and more.’ I’ve written about this before. You may tire of my soap box, but it bears repeating.

You are in the process of refinement. The good news is that the more you say ‘yes,’ to Jesus, the more you will become like Him.

Here’s the bad news. Our best hope of looking like our Lord is through suffering.


Yeah, me too. I’m not the first in line to sign up for suffering. In fact, some of my prayers are rather pathetic as I cower and say, “God, whatever it takes. . . but please be kind.”

Cost. Yikes. I’m afraid of it. I want what God wants. But there’s this fear inside of me that worries if I can take it. If I will suffer. If my people will suffer.

But there’s this other piece, more like a massive chunk of truth, that God is always good. And He is always kind. And I can shake in my boots at the thought of what He may allow, or I can choose to gain composure as I remember and believe that I’m safe, standing secure in His grace, untouchable, really, as His child.

So, it’s through suffering and loss that He builds us. He reminds us of our need for Him for everything. He pulls us close and whispers His truth into our ears and souls. He comforts, convicts, and transforms our character, more and more.

My friend, please persevere. Please keep saying ‘yes’ to our God. He has your best in mind. When we get to the end of our days, don’t you want to hear “well done” and be “counted worthy of the kingdom for which you are suffering?”

Once we were enemies of God. Now we are His friends. We are free to trust Him and obey Him in the fiercest of trials. We get to persevere with a grit that is forged in our hope of a greater rest someday. We are recipients of grace. Peace. Belonging.

We are created for and will experience the ‘more and more…’ it makes all that we endure here on earth a bit more bearable, doesn’t it?

God has never let me down. Never. I bet He hasn’t let you down either. Take some time right now to thank Him for His faithfulness through a trial you’ve endured from your past and pour out your heart to Him about a trial you are facing today.

You can rest, knowing He loves you, sees you, and holds everything you need.

Shelly Eberly

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