Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Challenge of Persevering

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.  Galatians 6:9-10
We all know that a life of service can be a thankless existence, but in the passage above, Paul challenges Christians to not give up when is seems that our work is in vain.  He encourages us to continue to do good every chance we get.   

Perseverance is the drive that helps you push through challenges and not give up.  Persevere - Doggedness, steadfastness, persistence, tenacity - all of these imply a resolute and unyielding grasp and completion of a course of action.  This is not necessarily a word associated with something pleasant.  It usually means that we are working hard to keep going in a very difficult circumstance.  
Perseverance commonly suggests activity maintained in spite of difficulties or steadfast and long-continued application.  Sometimes we assume that doing good works will come naturally or easily.  The truth is that it doesn’talways come easy, and it is easy to become weary.  Paul knew we would need a word of encouragement to keep going.   
The peril of discouragement - Let us not lose heart in doing good…The word translated lose heartmeans "to be weary; to become discouraged”.  It is human nature to lose the desire to continue because of difficult circumstances or unfulfilled expectations.  This is especially true when results are not immediately apparent; when, in fact, it seems as if our work is unproductive, unappreciated, or unrewarded. 
The dangers of discouragement are: 
  • an unfinished task 
  • increased discouragement followed by 
  • hesitancy to attempt anything again.
DISCOURAGEMENTcomes when things don't happen the way WE think they should.
There must be an expectation for there to be disappointment.  The dictionary defines discouragement as; “a feeling of despair in the face of obstacles; or a state of distraught and loss of sense of enthusiasm, drive or courage.” Momentary disappointment should never be allowed to stay long enough to conquer our spirit.  
To reap the full harvest of the good requires consistent and faithful effort.  Small seeds take a long time to produce a harvest, but the small seeds are so important!  Without the tiny seeds being planted in the first place, there would be no harvest at all.  So, it may seem that your good works are not producing any fruit, but the truth is that a root may be taking hold right now.  Little seeds lay unseen in the nourishing soil long before the fruit becomes visible. Don’t stop planting the seeds.  
It takes time, and nourishment for seeds to grow, both in the ground and in people’s hearts. You may not be the one watering the seeds you plant, and you may find yourself watering seeds someone else planted long ago.  Whatever role you play, they are all essential and important, and one depends on the other. Seeds that are planted but never watered, will never produce anything.  If we focus only on what we can see, we will be sure to be discouraged. We have to focus on what is unseen and trust that the good works we do for God will make a difference for His Kingdom, which is eternal and unseen.  
Scripture to Claim:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:10

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