After weeks of chilly, cloudy, rainy days here in San Jose, I rejoiced in sunny, blue skies that framed green hills and white peaks. I thought of Bible verses that encourage perseverance, and that promise us God’s Word is like rain and snow, making mountains and hills burst into song.
As I drove home from church here in San Jose today, the sun was shining brightly. The sky was blue.
The hills were a vibrant green. The highest peaks were dusted by a dazzling white.
This sunny, encouraging day follows several weeks of chilly, cloudy, rainy days.
I filed away the memory to encourage me during hard times when hills are white with flammable grass and when the air is smoky from wildfires, and from other kinds of hard times that are gloomy from chilly, cloudy, rainy days.
I thought of the following Bible verse that encourages us during hard times with this Wisdom from the Apostle Paul:
“we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3-4).
I thought of the following Bible verse that encourages us during hard times with this Wisdom from James, the brother of Jesus:
“Consider it pure joy, . . . , 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 1:3-4).
I thought of the following Bible verse that encourages us during hard times with this Wisdom of the Apostle Peter:
“[M]ake every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.” (2 Peter 1:5-7).
I thought of the following promise that the LORD God made to us through the Prophet Isaiah, perhaps on a day when Isaiah saw the sun shining in a blue sky on hills that were a vibrant green and on peaks that were dusted by a dazzling white:
“As the rain and the 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.
You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you.”
To learn more about Isaiah, please read my blogs “Building the Temple—Isaiah” and “What Did the Prophets Say Concerning the Messiah?”; and please read the chapters “Isaiah’s Vision”, “The LORD Saves Jerusalem From Assyria”, and “Hezekiah Foolishly Welcomes the Babylonians” in my book Healing the Promised Land, at pages 239-266.
To read more of my thoughts about the need for perseverance during hard times, please read my blog “Black Pine Trees”.
As you may know, several men named James are mentioned in the New Testament who might have been the author of the letter from James that is preserved in our New Testament. However, my view is that the author of this letter was most likely James, the brother of Jesus. I discuss this question (and other questions about the authorship of various parts of the New Testament) in endnotes of my book Lighting the World, at pages 191-196.