Today’s first reading (Monday-6th Week in Ordinary Time, Year II) comes from James 1:1-11. James speaks of perseverance and doubt. We must persevere in faith without doubt.
It is easier said than done.
When life is going well our faith is not challenged. It is in times of challenge and difficult that we found out just how strong our faith it. It is in difficult times that we are called to persevere.
In good times we may take God for granted. Or in good times we might say we did everything ourselves without help from other people or God. Yet, when times become difficult we might wonder why God isn’t “fixing everything.” We might take credit for the good but then blame God for the bad.
Jesus persevered in faith. Jesus was arrested, beaten, scourged, and hung upon the Cross for us. Through all of that he persevered in faith. Some might what to say of course he persevered because he is the Son of God. It wasn’t all that easy for him. Remember the story of the ‘Agony in the Garden’ (Matthew 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42, Luke 22:39-46). Jesus did not want to die.
Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done (Luke 22:42)
and the passage tells us that
He prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood (Luke 22:44).
Jesus did not want to die yet he persevered in his faith in our Father’s plan. Did he doubt? Mark 15:34 gives us the final words of Jesus as
My God, my God why have you forsaken me? (cf. Matthew 27:46)
Yet Luke’s Gospel has the final words of Jesus as
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit (Luke 23:46).
Jesus was both human and divine. In his humanity he had doubt. In his divinity he trusted in the Father and offered his spirit.
I would love to say I have no doubt in my faith. However, we can all have some doubt. I remember thinking when my mother was dying about how the Lord was taking care of her. Did the Lord cure her? No, but I believe He did take care of her.
The way I like to look at doubt is that I have no doubt that the Lord will take care of me (and all his people). However, I do doubt at times that he will do it the way I want. I don’t believe this is a lack of faith. Rather, it is an acknowledgement that God knows better than me. I may find it hard to know how God is present in difficult times but He is. When things do not go the way I want, I hold on to (persevere in) my faith trusting in God.
Nice Blog Father. This is a topic that I can identify with and too I think it goes for any believer. You are right it is truly easier said than done. I’m often reminded that what I want isn’t necessarily what God wants. Thanks for covering it in your blog.
4 but in everything we prove ourselves authentic servants of God; by resolute perseverance in times of hardships, difficulties and distress; Book of 2 Corinthians – Chapter 6
Enjoy your day Father!