At Wits End

John Tilton

"Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Thessalonians 1:4, 11-12)
The church of Thessalonica was a young church that was being persecuted. In their youthfulness, they misunderstood Paul's teaching thinking that Christ's second coming would soon take place. Their commitment began wane, causing many to lose heart. Thus, Paul, Silas and Timothy prayed for and encouraged them in their faith to persevere, so that God would empower them to then fulfill His calling on their lives. The result would be God's glory manifested through their lives.
I was raised in the local Chinese way of being told that I must succeed in life, that I needed to make my family proud and that I should never show any weakness.

Thus, with this subtle but driving force in my life, I lived life on the edge with minimal margins. It seems that the enemy knew this and therefore chose those times to hit me with unexpected challenges in my life, often times blind-siding me. Furthermore, in those times I felt that I didn't bring them on my self, but that they found me, and more so, in multiple challenges and conflict.

It was in those times that I asked myself, what did I do to deserve such attacks? In the moment of those sinking seemingly hopeless times, I can remember beginning to lose heart and found myself thinking extreme thoughts. Well ... actually stupid thoughts that I would have regretted, or not been around to regret.

Thankfully, in those times of feeling such an onslaught of being under attack, by instinct, I turned to God in prayer. I believe that it was that act of faith in Him that enabled me to gain the strength to persevere and do what it took to survive and recover. I look at where God has called me to today and what I have endured to be where I am today serving God in ministry, and gratitude fills my heart and soul.

The Word is clear that we must have the faith of a mustard seed to persevere as tough as it may be. We may not be able to see the end or the resolution at first. However, God is faithful and as I look back on 53 years on this earth, I can attest that God had and has a plan for my life. If I can muster up the faith that is needed, God will not only rescue me, but also count me worthy of His calling.
Lord, you've seen me at my worse and wits end many times in my life. As blessed as I am today, may these scriptures remind me and affirm that it's not if, but when challenging times will surface. It is those times Lord, that I will continue to turn to you in prayer and faith, standing on your Word that You will fulfill every good purpose and call you have for my life.

Devotions for May 17

1 Kings 2
1 Chronicles 29
Psalms 95
2 Thessalonians 1

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