POSTS
8
April 2021
Waiting
12
November 2020
The Gift of Self
4
November 2020
False Guilt
4
November 2020
Living Hope (part 2)
28
October 2020
Living Hope
7
October 2020
Consider It Joy
7
October 2020
Seize the Trial
10
September 2020
Take Heart and Endure
2
September 2020
Free From Fear
20
August 2020
Our Unseen Hope
20
August 2020
The God of Peace
SEARCH
Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Perspectives

Consider it pure joy, my brothers,
whenever you face trials of many kinds,
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.
If any of you lacks wisdom,
he should ask God, who gives generously
to all without finding fault,
and it will be given to him.
JAMES 1:2-5 (NIV)



No gift quite matches the gift of perspective. In the best of times, our vision remains weak. We cannot catch even the briefest glimpse of the future: we have no idea what the next year, week, day or even hour might bring. We tend to make our judgements based on superficial, outward observations. When worries and trials push their way into our lives, we often draw back within ourselves, further limiting our eyesight and understanding.


For those who tend to live life on “cruise control,” imagining that tomorrow will be just like today, James offers this corrective: “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that’” (James 4:14-15).


One of the most valuable outcomes of such a perspective is the development of a “long view” regarding present circumstances. Instead of demanding immediate answers, we place our trust in the Lord for ultimate results, “Be patient, then brothers, until the Lord’s coming,” James writes. “See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near … The Lord is full of compassion and mercy” (James 5:7, 8, 11).



No matter what our situation may be, Biblical perspective is the only one that can bring us such perseverance and patience … and peace.



But the wisdom from above is first of all pure.
It is also peace loving, gentle at all times,
and willing to yield to others.
It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds.
JAMES 3:17 (NLT)

0

Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Perspectives

Consider it pure joy, my brothers,
whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing
of your faith develops perseverance
JAMES 1:2-3 (NIV)



No gift quite matches the gift of perspective. If value is determined by an article’s relative abundance or scarcity, perspective is nothing less than 24-karat gold. The book of James offers such perspective to those enduring “trials of many kinds.”


In the best of times, our vision remains weak. We cannot catch even the briefest glimpse of the future; we have no idea what the next year, week, day or even hour might bring. We tend to make our judgments based on superficial, outward observations. When worries and trials push their way into our lives, we often draw back within ourselves, further limiting our eyesight and understanding.


Writing with a pastor’s heart, James offers wisdom to those who have been displaced, scattered and persecuted. He begins with this piece of extraordinary counsel: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance” (James 1:2-3). Joy? In the face of many trials? The only way such a thing could be possible is through the eternal perspective offered by Scripture and God’s indwelling Holy Spirit. It is the testing of our faith, says James, which develops perseverance.


And that’s not all. “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (v. 4). In other words, our difficulties and struggles are part of a process designed to bring us to a plane of living beyond anything we have experienced. That’s the sort of “big picture” insight into life we could never find on our own.


No matter what our situation may be, a Biblical perspective is the only one that brings us such perseverance and patience … and peace.



Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming.
See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop
and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.
You too, be patient and stand firm,
because the Lord’s coming is near.
JAMES 5:7-8 (NIV)

0

Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Perspectives

He has made everything beautiful in its time.
He has also set eternity in the hearts of men;
yet no one can fathom
what God has done from beginning to end.
ECCLESIASTES 3:11 (NIV)



I battled the fear of death when I was diagnosed with cancer. I couldn’t bear the thought of having to leave behind my kids, my wife, my life. Something deep within me told me that death is not natural. I fought against it as if it were a foreign enemy and, in a sense, it is. Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us that God has placed eternity into the heart of every person.


But we so long for life on earth to go on we resist heaven, the true home Jesus has prepared for us.So we struggle because “no one can fathom”. On one hand we are scared, on the other hand there is heaven. We wrestle back and forth between the two. And this is entirely normal.



Don’t let you hearts be troubled.
Trust in God and trust also in me.
There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.
If this were not so,
would I have told you that I am going
to prepare a place for you?
When everything is ready,
I will come and get you,
so that you will always
be with me where I am.
JOHN 14:1-3 (NLT)



On the journey with you, Dave Dravecky

0

Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Perspectives

No one whose hope is in you
will ever be put to shame …
PSALM 25:3



Severe suffering and life-threatening illnesses often cause us to reflect on our lives. We wonder: In what have we been investing our time and energy? Are our priorities in order? What kind of a legacy will we leave behind?


Many people who have suffered are thankful for this sort of reflection, for frequently this is what caused them to reassess their life and change what they didn’t like. Perhaps they found they had been placing their hopes in people or in their career or in financial security. But when the bottom fell out of their life, they realized that their relationship with God is what mattered most.


None of us will ever be sorry for placing our hope in God – that’s the promise of Psalm 25:3. And those of us who have walked the valley of suffering can heartily agree with David that our hope in Him will never be a cause for shame.



They cried out to you and were saved.
They trusted in you and were never disgraced.
PSALM 22:5 (NLT)



On the journey with you,
Jan & Dave Dravecky

0

Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Perspectives

PATIENCE?

His wife said to him,
“Are you still holding on to your integrity?
Curse God and die!”
He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman.
Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
JOB 2:9-10 (NLT)



You’ve heard of the patience of Job? To me that never made sense because the book of Job is one long list of complaints. Not one to take suffering meekly, Job cried out in protest against God. Even his friends were shocked at his anger. Goodness, most of us would bite our nails in fear and trembling if we ever talked to God that way.


God, however, does not get offended. He doesn’t get insulted or intimidated. In fact, in a supreme touch of irony, in the end God orders Job’s pious comforters to seek repentance from the man himself. I love that about God. Yes, Job’s patience was gloriously played out in that he refused to curse God and die. It was the Lord who demonstrated the very best of what it means to be patient. The patience of Job? It should be the patience of God. The God of Job – your God – listens to the complaints of the suffering. He may not respond to your questions with neat, pat answers, but He will always answer your questions with His own patience.

Joni Eareckson Tada



But God had mercy on me
so that Christ Jesus could use me
as a prime example of his great patience
with even the worst sinners.
Then others will realize that they, too,
can believe in him and receive eternal life.
1 TIMOTHY 1:16 (NLT)



On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky

0

Perspectives, Words of Endurance

But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief,
he hardened his heart
and would not listen to Moses and Aaron,
just as the Lord had said.
EXODUS 8:15 (NIV)



Every plague God sent gave Pharaoh an opportunity to choose. But rather than acknowledge the sovereignty of the God of Moses, Pharaoh focused on trying to save face, maintain power and control his economic well-being. Rather than learning from the awful plagues crashing down on him, he became hard and rebellious.


Through trials and hardships I may lose much. And yet I will never lose my opportunity to choose my focus. Do I focus on what I have lost, what “might have been,” and what I am no longer able to do? Or do I focus on who I am right now and what I have to offer in Christ? That is a choice every man and woman must make regardless of the loss. No one can take that choice away.



I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made.
But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ,
who has so wondrously reached out for me.
Friends, don’t get me wrong:
By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this,
but I’ve got my eye on the goal,
where God is beckoning us onward – to Jesus.
I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
PHILIPPIANS 3:12-14 (THE MESSAGE)



ON THE JOURNEY WITH YOU,
DAVE DRAVECKY

0

Perspectives, Words of Endurance

But when she could hide him no longer,
she got a papyrus basket for him
and coated it with tar and pitch.
Then she placed the child in it and
put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile.
EXODUS 2:3 (NIV)



Moses’ mother had hope and faith in God that He had special plans for her child. So she laid him – her most precious possession – in a basket and released him fully to God’s care.


The torturous act of trusting our precious possessions to God is the only sure way to peace. This truth is more than theology for me. I’ve tested it.


The morning after my arm and shoulder were amputated to stop the spread of cancer, I went to the bathroom mirror. I stood there pale and rumpled in my hospital gown, staring at the image that stared back at me – the image of a one armed man. I was in shock at how radically they had cut the arm back. The arm was gone. The shoulder was gone. The shoulder blade was gone. And the left side of my collarbone was gone.


“Okay God,” I said, “This is what I’ve got to live with. Put this behind me… let me go forward.” And when the one armed man looked back at me, there was peace in his eyes.



I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart.
And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.
So don’t be troubled or afraid.
JOHN 14.27 (NLT)



ON THE JOURNEY WITH YOU,
DAVE DRAVECKY

0

Perspectives, Words of Endurance

The Lord will stay with you
as long as you stay with Him!
Whenever you seek Him,
you will find Him.
2 CHRONICLES 15:2 (NLT)



The book of Psalms sings of Joseph’s abduction, slavery and captivity. “They bruised his feet with shackles,” we are told, and “his neck was put in irons” (PSALM 105:18) An old translation renders the last phrase of that verse, “the iron entered into his soul.” Somehow, the iron of Joseph’s shackles entered into his soul. He became strong and wise, just and merciful; he would be called “the prince among his brothers.” And through it all, he cultivated a strong sense of God’s presence.


How did he do it? How can we? How can we avoid bitterness when our dreams have been torn away? How can we maintain our walk with God when he allows our youth to be pillaged and our life to plunge into deep shadow and prolonged pain? We can learn much from Joseph.


Though attacked and wrongfully accused, though he endured suffering and cruelty, Joseph became fruitful beyond his dreams. Over and over again, Scripture tells us that “the Lord was with Joseph.” Why was He with him? Joseph set his heart on walking with God, and he did not allow any hardship, any adversity, any tragedy to come between him and his God. That relationship took priority over everything all of his life.


Joseph understood the hard realities of life. But he also clung to the conviction that a sovereign God rules over people’s affair. Wherever Joseph found himself, he served with all his heart, placing full trust in the Lord to care for him and vindicate him.


Joseph teaches us that when we seek God’s kingdom first, we may live content no matter our circumstances. With such a mindset – with such a Lord – circumstances cannot defeat us.



ON THE JOURNEY WITH YOU,
JAN & DAVE DRAVECKY

0

Perspectives, Words of Endurance

As you endure this divine discipline,
remember that God is treating you as his own children.
For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years,
doing the best they knew how.
But God’s discipline is always good for us,
so that we might share in his holiness.
HEBREWS 12:7,10 (NLT)



Hardships do not come into our lives to make us spiritually feeble, weak, lame and disabled. Such a thing is possible only if we allow it to happen. If we will choose instead to consider hardships as God’s discipline and then allow the difficulties of life to build into us the heavenly trio of holiness, righteousness and peace, we will watch ourselves grow from adolescence into spiritual maturity.


In my own growth it was important for me to understand that hardship was to be a part of my life, because so many had told me that God did not intend for me to suffer. It was important for me to look at God as my Father, training me and disciplining me because He loved me, just as my earthly parents had.


My parents had begun the job of disciplining me, but because they, too, were imperfect, the job of preparing me for maturity was incomplete. God will continue to train me where my earthly parents left off, and He has chosen to use hardship as one of His primary tools.


ON THE JOURNEY WITH YOU,
DAVE DRAVECKY

0

Perspectives, Words of Endurance

Perspective and Promises

Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said,
and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised.
GENESIS 21:1 (NIV)



The problem with pain is that it forces us to live in the moment, to deal with its unrelenting presence. That narrow, unpleasant perspective, like blinders on a horse, prevents us from clearly seeing the past (where God displayed his faithfulness to us) and the future (where the fulfillment of his promise awaits us).


Bound by this thin sliver of time, we forget that God is not bound by time. He exists outside of its minutes and millennia. Promises that seem impossible from our limited perspective are totally possible from his. He will keep every promise he has made to his children, no matter how unattainable they seem at the time.


My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.
PSALM 119:50 (NIV)


ON THE JOURNEY WITH YOU,
Jan & Dave Dravecky

0