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Maturity

Today’s Reflection

AUTHENTIC CHRISTIAN MATURITY is a steadfastness that we attain not by denial. It is a quality that, like any other kind of maturity, accrues with age, hard work, and a lot of bruising experience. It is the ability to redirect our thoughts beyond immediate woes in order to realize the spiritual growth that results from tests of faith.

—John R. Wimmer
Blessed Endurance: Moving Beyond Despair to Hope

From page 41 of Blessed Endurance: Moving Beyond Despair to Hope by John R. Wimmer. Copyright © 2017 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What helps you mature in faith? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.
—James 1:4, NRSV

This Week: May the God of everlasting hope grant you blessed endurance on your journey. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

On March 1, 2019, the World Day of Prayer, you are invited to join the staff of The Upper Room in responding to the prayer requests submitted on The Upper Room Prayer Wall. Mark your calendar and sign up to receive updates, tips, and tools as we approach this day of prayer with prayer partners around the world. Sign up here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling February 1, 2019, 2:38 am

    Trials help me mature in faith with God’s grace, help and strength. Also, people who pray for me and stand by me.

    May the God of everlasting hope grant us blessed endurance on our journey!

    Blessings!

  • Jill February 1, 2019, 3:29 am

    Yes, I hold steadfastly to the promises of fruit and growth through trials found in II Corinthians, James and I Peter. There is evidence from my past – to these truths, as well as my current circumstances. Yes, I want to be mature Father, continue Your work in me.
    I pray for the members of this group who are having issues with forgiveness. Father – guide them into forgiveness, full and complete forgiveness, so freeing for the forgiver. Thank You for Your forgiveness of us – we are nothing without You.
    Encouraged to hear of progress with Erich’s job, despite the very cold conditions. And for Annaliese as well.

  • Rusty February 1, 2019, 4:01 am

    Prayer.

    Prayer, prayer, prayer. Prayer is what helps me mature in the faith and re-teaches me to turn to God and trust him. Every morning and every evening and many, many (but not enough) times in between. I like the way that the author puts it: the ability to redirect our thoughts beyond immediate woes. Oh, that two or three people closest to me could do that! How often I watch minds, and then hearts, spin out of control with fear, anxiety and frustration. Over things that on a lifelong scale, much less an eternal scale, are not of real consequence. I honestly think for some people it is genetic. My wife’s family seems to carry this trait. Lord, please help us. Order our lives,

    My tendency (probably also in my genes) is to start sometimes from a point of anxiety, but – praise God – I know he is there to help me through. For me, it’s the Father whom I think of, so firm and strong, gently urging me to relax and lean on him. To lean into his bosom (okay, at that point it is Jesus), and to allow myself to sigh (physically, literally, sigh) and know, “Lord, you’ve got this. You’ve got me! Thank you!”

    Does this happen all the time? No. Because I’m not mature yet! But, Lord, by your grace I’m getting there. Praise you, praise you, praise you!

    One of my Daily Office prayers is Psalm 4 in (I think) an unusual translation that I don’t recall seeing in other contexts. This sometimes comes to me and is a help when the woes the author speaks of threaten to take away my joy.

    Psalm 4
    1 Answer me when I call, O God, defender of my cause; *
    you set me free when I am hard-pressed;
    have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

    2 “You mortals, how long will you dishonor my glory; *
    how long will you worship dumb idols
    and run after false gods?”

    3 Know that the Lord does wonders for the faithful; *
    when I call upon the Lord, he will hear me.

    4 Tremble, then, and do not sin; *
    speak to your heart in silence upon your bed.

    5 Offer the appointed sacrifices *
    and put your trust in the Lord.

    6 Many are saying,
    “Oh, that we might see better times!” *
    Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O Lord.

    7 You have put gladness in my heart, *
    more than when grain and wine and oil increase.

    8 I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep; *
    for only you, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

    “The Lord is good. His mercy is everlasting. And his faithfulness endures from age to age. Amen.”

    • Connie February 1, 2019, 8:38 am

      Verse 6 touches a chord with me. Thank you for sharing this scripture.

  • robert moeller February 1, 2019, 6:46 am

    Patient persistence, travel through the valley, prayer, worship, singing, music, two experiences where I feel I felt the presence of God, making it through tough times, and the encouragement of others help/ed me mature in faith. Still I wonder hoe mature my faith really is. I think only God really knows. I trust that what I am lacking God’s grace will supply. Only with God can anything really be done. Thank You, Lord.

    Thankful for the posts from Mary, Jill, and Rusty. When members of the body of Christ come together a more complete understanding is possible. Thankful Erich’s training has ended and he has a schedule more to his liking and what he signed up for. Thankful that the cold weather will warm up soon. Anneliese is getting responses to her needs, she has less pain getting up, but most likely has a herniated disc, will get and MRI and see a spine specialist once transportation can be arranged. I’m grateful that income tax time looks a lot better than it did last year. When the unknown becomes known, it is more easily handled. Thankfully I’m prepared.

    Prayers for all facing the brutal low temps. wind chill, snow and ice. I pray for Julie’s hands and feet affected by the cold. Prayers for forgiveness, not an easy task, but one we are asked to do.

    Prayers that Marcy’s migraines, breathing, health insurance, and means of support are being addressed. Thankful for Mary who provides much needed
    help.

    Prayers for Andrea and Lowell, may they both be well soon.

    Thank You, Lord, for the blessings of the day.

  • Julie February 1, 2019, 8:29 am

    My current situation with my fingers forces me to rely on Him. Without the Lord’s strength I could not make it through each day. Took over a minute just to put on one sock. The pain is great and I am weak. Also the situation with h. I beg to differ regarding forgiving h at this time. It is in my best interest to be cautious and remember that he means to harm me. Forgiveness is a luxury for me to excercise when this situation is resolved.
    Prayers and blessings dear UR family

  • Connie February 1, 2019, 8:43 am

    Yes Julie, self-preservation is the issue now. Forgiveness? maybe in the future. Takes time.
    Thankful for:
    Less frigid temps.
    A chance to get out of the house (?)
    Have a good weekend, my dear ones.

  • Andrea February 1, 2019, 4:43 pm

    Thank you, Rusty.

    My faith matured when I went through a long “dark night.” Reading Henri Nouwen’s writing helped me frame that difficult time in a meaningful way.

    I agree with Connie, forgiveness cannot be rushed or forced. It is a process, possibly a very long process.

    Praying for Marcy’s health and care, for Julie’s hands and feet and protection in a stressful home situation, for Gloria’s spiritual healing and for Jill’s guidance and strength in supporting her parents, for Robert, Erich, and Anneliese’s well-being, for Connie to see better days, for Rusty and K, for Lou and her children, for Mary and her parents, for April, and for those whose names I have overlooked. Wishing all UR friends and visitors a blessed weekend.

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