Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we seek to understand the true meaning of the climbing the mountains of moral and spiritual difficulty.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Climbing the Mountains of Moral and Spiritual Difficulty
"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." James, Chapter 1, Verses 1 and 4
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast, we shall offer encouragement to those of us who are struggling to climb the mountains of moral and spiritual difficulty. There are the mountains of material difficulty, the mountains of impatience, the mountains of doubt, the mountains of frustrations and the mountains of difficult relationships. And there are still others. All of these mountains stand in the way of our peace of mind and tranquility of spirit.
Sometimes we feel as if we are being defeated in our efforts to climb these mountains of difficulty. But we know that these mountains are not designed to crush or defeat us but are designed to bring out our potentials, to transform us into the image of His Son. We also know that potentials do not unfold unless there is a demand for them. As a part of the Father’’s plan, these mountains have appeared so that we might be perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect. Climbing these mountains brings out our spiritual nature, thus we must struggle until we overcome them. We must exercise faith in our supreme desire to overcome them, and we must follow our friend and brother, Jesus, who guides us up this mountain of difficulty.
Let us consider how these criteria are applied in our efforts to climb the mountains of difficulty. Let us consider impatience, for this is the lynchpin that unlocks the pathway to conquering other mountains of difficulty. All who have the privilege of laboring in time and space must master the quality of patience. We soon become aware that impatience avails us nothing, even though we do not adhere to this knowledge all the time. In the time-space universes, there is no instantaneous response to cause. The response is always delayed by time and handicapped by space. From a practical viewpoint, patience is the willingness to wait if we hope to achieve anything of lasting value. We begin climbing the mountain of impatience in earnest when we really come to understand the reality of slow progress in the universes of time and space. What do we do, though, while we are being patient?
Exercising patience allows for our growth and the growth of others. We are trying to create something of eternal value. Patience is required for us to synchronize our time-space efforts with eternal cycles. We must display the value of patience long enough for it to be integrated into the cycle of eternity. And from a practical point of view, this means displaying any needed quality, whether it be love, patience, faith, goodness, meekness, temperance, joy, or peace. The way of the spirit is to display of ourselves the quality that we are desirous of seeing in others.
But how do we acquire eternal patience? It happens that eternal patience lives within our souls. All that is required is for us to really desire it, and, forthwith, it becomes a part of our characters. The problem lies not in our ability to acquire this eternal quality of divine patience; rather is it the problem of supremely desiring it. When we supremely desire a divine quality, when there is no quality desired above it and all other qualities are subordinated to it (such as impatience), then has our desire become supreme.
The problem of impatience is the direct result of the failure to exercise absolute confidence and faith in the Father’’s will. It is the failure to trust. The Father has seen the end from the beginning. His great love for us and His goodness insures that everything we experience will work out for our eternal good. We must trust the Father as we make the effort that is required for us to achieve. We must resist the temptation to apply the quick fix, which, while offering transitory satisfaction, does nothing but causes further delay in actualizing the real solution. When we are tempted to break the bond between our will and the Father’’s will because of unyielding momentary pressure, we should retreat into prayer and seek His will.
How often should we seek the Father’’s will when locked in the jaws of adversity, listening to the lullaby of depression, being chewed by the teeth of anxiety? We should seek the Father’’s will as often as necessary. This practice will reinforce our effort to abide by the Father’’s will. And we should also understand that the unyielding pressure is only for the moment. It has no eternal counterpart.
When we are tempted to disobey the divine leading, the truth, we should remember that doing so delays our own progress towards acquiring the perfection of Jesus. We should remember how patient he is with us, with our peculiar defects. He waits and waits in the depths of our souls, displaying the eternal patience. And while we recognize that all of this waiting is very disagreeable to our emotions, we should remember that persistent waiting modifies our emotional response to it. And while we wait, we should exercise faith because doing so ““will remove mountains of material difficulty which may chance to lie in the path of soul expansion and spiritual progress."
We must be persistent in our efforts to acquire the divine viewpoint. Persistent efforts always result in greater strength and growth. Effort is the gear that turns the wheels of growth. And brothers and sisters, we are not immune to the emotional and physical difficulties that this persistent effort to achieve sometimes causes. We realize that sometimes it appears that there is no entry to the door of achievement, and we grit our teeth, clinch our jaws, and rage at the locked door. But brothers and sisters, be assured that if we are persistent in our efforts, the doors of achievement will open.
The portals of eternity only open in response to sincere and irreversible desires. What is involved in the delay in opening the door of opportunity is the growth of our supreme desires. When our supreme desires reach that level where we are willing to wait for eternity to achieve our righteous goals, then have we proved to ourselves that we really desire the achievement. And we know when our desires have reached supreme levels because we become tolerant of irritating stimuli.
If we are in a disagreeable relationship, the persistent effort of applied patience allows the other party time to first recognize that his/her behavior is causing disharmony; second what his/her true attitude is toward the disharmony; third for him/her to embrace the true attitude towards the disharmony; and fourth for his/her attitude to become eternalized. Thus we see that time is required for this process to run its course. In the meantime, this same process allows us to go through the stages of displaying divine qualities.
We should not become frustrated in our efforts to achieve divine perfection. After all, we have all the time that we need to achieve this glorious state. Our frustrations grow out of the failure to completely trust the Father’’s plan. We must always remember that the Father loves our antagonists as well as us. He wants all of us to be transformed into the image of His Son and therefore has His wisdom ordained the steps of growth for the part as well as for the whole. The two are related, and they do not always move at the same speed. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we can be confident in our faith efforts and of our display of divine patience.
Finally we come to the glorious state that we are desirous of achieving--personality perfection. The Father has decreed that we make this achievement by faith. This perfection is the result of exercising faith in the Father’’s plan for our lives and in our faith in Him, submitting to His divine will. The exercise of faith in Him means that we will walk in the paths that He has ordained for our growth. It means that we will trust His divine leading and guidance. As we climb these mountains of difficulty, the Father will instruct our souls in the appropriate value for that experience and will reveal the meaning of that value. No matter what we go through or what mountain we climb, the willingness to struggle allows us to make progress on the mountains of difficulty and ultimately to reach the top.
And when we reach the top, we will find that "On every mountaintop of intellectual thought are to be found relaxation for the mind, strength for the soul, and communion for the spirit. From such vantage points of high living, man is able to transcend the material irritations of the lower levels of thinking--worry, jealousy, envy, revenge, and the pride of immature personality. These high-climbing souls deliver themselves from a multitude of the crosscurrent conflicts of the trifles of living, thus becoming free to attain consciousness of the higher currents of spirit concept and celestial communication." And our souls will emerge from each of these experiences of climbing the mountain of difficulty unscathed, more confident, more trusting, and more glorious, more like the image of the Father’’s Son, Jesus.
This concludes today's message on understanding the true meaning of climbing the mountains of moral and spiritual difficulty. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.