God doesn’t make average. He makes excellent!

Written by: Vivian Wilson
“You’ve come a long way baby!”
Some of you may remember that slogan which was introduced in 1968.  Even if you weren’t around then, chances are that you have heard it at one time or another.
The proof the sponsor offers is that now there is a slender, more “feminine” looking cigarette made especially with woman in mind. Women no longer have to smoke those manly cigarettes. (You’re laughing. So am I.) It’s true!
Well, since God began His transforming work in me, that slogan is certainly true in my life. The proof that I offer is that I am a different person now.
At one time, I thought very little of myself——having no real value, no real purpose, and being pretty much invisible. Then I thought, at best, I was average.  Now I know that God doesn’t make “average”, He makes Excellent!
So how did I get from having such a warped view of myself to a place of confidence in my self worth?
Of course, the obvious answer is by God’s transforming power. But He didn’t do it in an instant. He used time and difficult circumstances. He used trials and other people. He wants me to be a partner in this transformation, however. There are many things that I had to learn and still more that are yet to be learned.
I believe one of the disciplines that is essential for my part in this partnership is PERSEVERANCE. Webster defines perseverance this way: to continue a course of action in spite of difficulty and opposition.
In Heb.12:1 we read, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangle, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
As believers on the course of sanctification, our goal is Godly character.
James1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Rom.5:3-4  “Not only so , but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
To persevere means that I don’t give up, even when things get difficult. And in the end, I will be mature and complete, having a Godly character.
While I am not there yet, I am a better lover of people, I am more compassionate, I am more willing to give myself to serve others, I am more patient, I am more at peace. I will continue on this journey with hope because God is faithful.
Are you weary?  Do you feel like giving up because life is difficult right now?
Will you think back on similar times in your life when you persevered?
Will you thank God for the good that came from those times?
Be encouraged!  God is growing us in Godly character.
We have come a long way!
Still a work in progress,
Vivian