And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance character; and character, hope. Romans 5: 3-4
Fourteen days and 15 hours (give or take a few) remaining in the regular session.
If ever the Lord made a training ground to produce perseverance and instill character, it is the legislative process. Last Thursday was the final deadline for the hearing of House bills. Multitudes of bills languished on the calendar. Some issues which should have been debated were passed without comment, swept along in a frenzy to get to the next bill. Other bills which should have passed with no controversy were debated in minutia, trying to stall the next bill coming up.
Exasperation led some members to engage in conduct that makes you wonder if their mothers know they act that way.
Which brings me to my point today. Romans 5:3-4 tells us that perseverance develops character. It is easy to confuse perseverance with survival in this environment. Survival is continuing to live or exist in spite of an ordeal or difficulty. Perseverance is steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
We are all likely to survive the session. The question is, will we persevere?
Will our efforts on the last day be as energetic, thorough, and principled as they were on the first day? Will we be able to stand for the same things in the waning hours as we stood for on opening day? If so, then our perseverance will have produced in us character. And, our character will produce hope.
In these final days of the session, ask yourself where your hope lies.
Is your hope in tacking your legislation onto some other measure; in the Senate taking an action; or the Calendars Committee setting a bill? If it is, you may be in survival mode.
If, on the other hand, you recognize that nothing done in the Legislature gives you reason to hope, and that your only hope lies in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, you are probably persevering and not overly worried about the next two weeks.
Lord, it is a dangerous prayer to ask that you help us develop our character. But, that is what I ask today. Amen.