Lent 2024 | Day 23

By Janet Nygren
Day 23 (Monday, Mar 11)

As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly, to re-center my scattered senses upon the presence of God.1

Pause and pray.

“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…Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:2-4, 12)

Think about it.

Hopefully by now you are getting skilled at spotting J-Curves and see one here: trials (of many kinds) resulting in perseverance, maturity, even blessing–the crown of life! But honestly, most of us find this verse uncomfortable. Facing trials and pure joy do not seem to belong in the same sentence. This week we are exploring what it means to die to comfort for the sake of something greater. Similar to facing trials, foregoing comfort and experiencing pure joy are not the greatest of companions. If you’re anything like me, grumbling or self-righteousness are more typical responses to discomfort. So hopefully we can learn together. We will explore what Paul Miller describes as four steps of love, as we reenact Jesus’ descent into suffering.2


Let’s start by thinking about what dying to comfort means for you. Comfort in and of itself is not a bad thing. God gives us good gifts for our pleasure. But when created things get in the way of God’s greatest commandments, to love God and love others, something is off-balance. When we love the gifts more than we love the Giver, or the people he calls us to love, our appetites have gotten the better of us. Where do you seek comfort? What makes you uncomfortable?

Pause and pray.

Jesus, help my love for you grow more and more.

“Creation was made to be one big finger pointing you to the One who alone has the ability to satisfy your heart.”(Paul David Tripp)

  1. Prayer used daily in Lectio365 found at https://www.24-7prayer.com/resource/lectio-365/
  2. Paul E. Miller, J-Curve (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2019), 155.

1 Comment

Nick Tebordo - March 11th, 2024 at 5:12am

Prayer and the guidance of the Holy Spirit lead us to God’s will. Following where He leads will often tak us out of our comfort zones. The word persevere is included in this Scripture. We cannot depend on God’s plan falling into place quickly. For instance-in discipling new Christians, we often find that they sometimes do not show up and we can’t help them take growth steps. It was great to see Anthony in church yesterday. Steve, Billy’s friend came. Dale Bressete texted me last night and said he still wants to be baptized on Easter. He is having trouble getting here on Sunday. We will keep praying. I am reminded of Winston Churchill’s words in the dark days of WWII, “Never, never, never, give up!”




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