Tuesday, July 14, 2020

How to Persevere

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil.  Proverbs 4:25-27

How to Persevere
How do you keep going when you feel like giving up? Perseverance by definition is doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. It is the determination to keep going, even though there are giants surrounding you.  It is resolve, diligence, persistence, and tenacity. As a Christian, perseverance is directly related to our confidence in the power and faithfulness of God as we trudge through the battlefields of life.  It is to keep going, and to keep the faith that no matter what we face, we know that our God is in control and He is with us and for us.

Of course, the giants in our lives are enemies of perseverance. There are also some ways of thinking that can get us into trouble too.

Giving Up
Consistency and persistence are imperative if we are to persevere. If you tend to throw in the towel when the going gets tough, you will not persevere. You will also miss some golden opportunities that God may place in your life. Persevering through the hard times always brings growth. Always. Opportunities without persistence will be lost.

Believing Life Shouldn’t be This Way
Christians are often caught off guard when tough things happen to them. We have this false sense of security that we believe that because we are Christians, we should not have the same struggles and problems others have. We may actually feel offended or abandoned by God at these times. Jesus promised us there would be trials and He also promised us that He would never leave us during those trials. Instead of expecting our lives to be easy as Christians, we need to expect and embrace the tough times. We have no control over them, so instead of fighting against them, we should turn to God, trust Him, and try to find the lessons we can learn that will make us better in the long run. 

Believing Success is A Goal to Reach
Complacency is what happens when you're feeling good about who you are and what you've achieved.  It is also what happens when you settle or decide that good is good enough. Sometimes success is literally just putting one foot in front of the other. Success is not a destination or something to be obtained.  Success is a journey and it is never ending. If we stop, success stops. If we keep going, success comes along. True success is only when we are taking the steps and moving in the direction that God has for our lives. 

A Lack of Resiliency
Harvard professor of psychiatry George E. Vailant, in his book Aging Well, identifies resiliency as a significant characteristic of people who navigate the many transitions of life from birth to old age. He writes, "Resilience reflects individuals who metaphorically resemble a twig with a fresh, green living core. When twisted out of shape, such a twig bends, but it does not break; instead it springs back and continues growing.” Going on with life as long as we can, is God’s plan for us. Having perseverance requires resiliency. We have to have the ability to bounce back and keep going to persevere. 

A Lack of Vision
Vision is what keeps us going on the really tough days. When we know there is a plan, we can focus on the future and a better time. Vision also makes it worth the effort we put into our work every day. And when we know we are part of a bigger plan that God is unfolding, that vision helps us persevere when we want to quit. God has a plan. And we are a part of His plan.

So, whatever makes you want to quit, whether it is health, people, circumstances, or plain old discouragement, remember to keep looking to the path He has laid for you. Don’t give up. Expect hardships and embrace the lesson. Remember that success is a journey and not a destination. Be resilient and keep the vision before you. Most of all, focus on Jesus Christ. He will lead the way.

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5

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