Originally published on May 26, 2020
Faith, Patience, Love, and Endurance
About a year ago our pastor Dennis did a sermon series entitled Transforming Encounters, that went from September to April. In this series we read one chapter a day in the New Testament, and on Sunday Dennis would preach on the chapter that was for that day. We loved it! It really got us into daily reading aloud of God’s Word together as a couple. Before this we always had our own separate Bible reading, quiet time, prayer – but never as a couple, unless there was something specific to pray for. We liked it so much that we continued to read together daily, as our schedules allowed. After the reading we would then discuss what stood out to us in that chapter, and what we thought God was communicating to us through this.
Recently we read 2 Timothy Chapter 3, and verse 10 stood out to us both.
Paul’s Charge to Timothy, “But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my Faith, my Patience, my Love, and my Endurance.” (NLT)
We were immediately drawn to the significance of these 4 attributes. We came up with an “ice breaker” discussion question: Which of these 4 attributes are you weaker or stronger in? This was a great opportunity to go deeper as a couple, look at ourselves, and notice how our Faith, Patience, Love, and Endurance affects our marriage as well as our ways of handling the current pandemic. Carol identified her weaker attribute as Faith because she sometimes struggles with anxiety, letting go, and trusting God to handle things. Her stronger was Love because she has a heart for helping people. Dan identified his weaker attribute as Patience. Hello! “Dan likes him some Dan!”, we like to tease, because he tends to get impatient when his goals are blocked. His stronger was Faith, due to his strong, consistent belief that God is in control and will work out things according to His plan.
Paul wrote his letter to Timothy while he was under house arrest, and he was acquainted with the daily challenge of living a life that demonstrated Faith, Patience, Love, and Endurance. In our own present-day COVID induced isolation we also have this challenge. So take some time and ask yourself, “Which of these 4 attributes am I weaker or stronger in?”. You can do this individually, or as a couple. Then turn to God in prayer and trust that God will work through the Holy Spirit in all that you ask for. Seek Him for ways you can grow in your weaknesses and thrive in your strengths. He is able!
Carol and Dan Peirce