James 1:4 AMP

But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.

The best long distance runners not only need to be physically tough but also mentally tough. They must be patient or have much patience to get to the finish line. What does patience mean? This is how the dictionary defines patience: The quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.

Paul said: let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, (Hebrews 12:1 AMP)

We all know what the sins are. The bible makes it clear what they are. But it is the encumbrances that it doesn’t name. Could it be that a negative attitude is an unnecessary weight that clings to and entangles us? I think so.

Let’s break this down. The word attitude is defined: A settled way of thinking or feeling, typically reflected in a person's behavior.

Many of us have decided that we want everything fast. Hamburgers, weight loss, and answers to our prayers. Yet we know that anything good is worth waiting for. Personally I’d rather wait for a great tasting burger than have a fast food burger. Health professionals tell us to loose weight slowly so it will be easier to keep it off. And as for prayers, we all know they don’t always get answered when we would like. And to make things worse, the bible says to let patience have full play and do a thorough work… in us. I’m not so sure that I’m being comforted by the scriptures right now. But there is good news. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:24(AMP): “run [your race] that you may lay hold of the prize and make it yours.”Now the questions becomes: “What is the prize?” This takes us back to James 1:4. One of the prizes is patience mixed with endurance and steadfastness will help us be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing. This is wonderful news to me because sometimes I feel like I’m not much of a person to be admired by God. These scriptures remind me I have purpose in this life. They remind me, God will complete the good work He started in me. They help me to remember, with the Word and the Holy Spirit, I will become more and more like Jesus.

Next Level Thinking embraces perseverance knowing there is a prize at the end of the race.

I challenged you today to let James 1:4 be a prayer for your life.