Let Perseverance Finish its Work

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
James 1:2-4 (NIV)

In Arizona there is a scientific research facility called Biosphere 2. It is an enclosed miniature version of earth’s biosphere, but this one is about the size of three football fields. The facility includes a rainforest, desert, ocean with reef, and farmland, complete with plants, animals, and insects. Its original purpose was to study whether an entirely self-sufficient ecosystem with human habitats could be built on another planet. While the scientists carried out their original research, they discovered other curious findings. One was that the trees would grow faster in Biosphere 2 than trees on the outside, but these trees would fall over before they matured. The scientists realized that the problem was a lack of wind. Regular trees grow something called stress wood in response to the wind, and this is what allows them to grow tall and strong. The trees inside the research facility had no wind, so they were unable to stand.

            God created the earth’s ecosystems as part of his plan, and as a result, everything works together perfectly, including the wind and the trees. And since we know that humans are also part of this plan, we can know that God created us the same way. Isaiah 55:10-11 (NIV) explains that “as the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Just as God has a purpose for the rain to water crops, he has a purpose for us humans to achieve his plans. Everything works together for His glory.

            So just as trees need stress to mature, we too as humans must endure trials in order to grow strong. We may wonder why we have hardships and temptations, but if we did not experience any stress, we would be too weak to stand, just like the trees in Biosphere 2. James 1:2-4 (NIV) says “consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” While in the midst of trials, we need to remember that we are living in God’s plan, and that we could be growing perseverance now so that we can stand strong later.

Walking with you in Christ,

Erin Tabor



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Glorious Gumption: Gentile Woman

You don’t hear the word gumption used very often. I like the sound of it. It makes me think of courage. It involves wisdom, discernment, spirit, ability, and judgment, among other things. It also requires good old-fashioned get-up-and go! When gumption is utilized in a godly way, I call it glorious. Join me this week as we look as some women who displayed glorious gumption in their lives and understand how we can do something similar!


Gentile Woman

Right away a woman who had heard about him came and fell at his feet…. and she begged him to cast out the demon from her daughter. Jesus told her, “First I should feed…my own family, the Jews. It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.” She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even the dogs under the table are allowed to eat the scraps from the children’s plates.” 

Mark 7: 25-28, NLT

Friday_Day_Five_Pic-Humility_SignWhen I was young, we’d go visit one of my uncles, who lived out in the country. I’d see dogs roaming around his place. These strays didn’t belong to anyone in the family and subsequently had to fend for themselves. But the family dogs got to hang out inside and eat some of the same good food that had been prepared, eaten, and left over by the family. Why? After all, they were all dogs, just the same. The reason was that they were part of the family.

Read today’s Dose verse. It tells the conversation between Jesus and a woman who’d asked Him to help her daughter. She’d humbly thrown herself at Jesus’ feet. The woman was a Gentile and Jesus told her that He should first take care of helping the Jewish people, His own family, before helping her, a Gentile. But, the woman acknowledged that even though she was a Gentile, she was indeed part of Jesus’s family because she knew He’d come to offer His hope of salvation for everyone who’d believe in Him, and she did. As such, she’d have to be considered part of the family, entitled to even the scraps under the table, so to speak.

Many Jewish people and most of the Jewish leaders had rejected Jesus and His offer of hope for their lives. But because Jesus offered His salvation to everyone, there were other members of the family, the Gentiles. Jesus helped her.  

“Good answer!” he said. “Now go home, for the demon has left your daughter.” And when she arrived home, she found her little girl lying quietly in bed, and the demon was gone

(Mark 7: 29-30, NLT).

We are the Gentiles today, offered His amazing gift of hope and salvation.

Through helping this Gentile woman, Jesus made it obvious that His hope wasn’t just for Jews but for everyone who would humbly trust and believe in Him. Those believers were part of the family. It took great faith, persistence and humility for the Gentile woman to understand what Jesus was saying and know how to respond to Him in pursuit of her plea. This was her glorious gumption! In turn, Jesus responded to her honest self-portrayal, humility, and perseverance.

True humility displays Jesus at work in our lives but a lack of faith and persistence displays the opposite.

Are you part of the family of God today? You can be, His hope is for everyone.

Glorious gumption through humility,


[Read Mark 7: 24-30 for the whole of this story]