Life is hard. Agree?
We often hear the quote, “No one ever said life is going to be easy.” Not even Jesus said it was going to be a piece of cake. In John 16:33, Jesus Himself said, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Last week I shared with you the character trait of bravery (and more character traits that David exemplified). A couple of days before that I shared how this “new chapter has encouraged me to share with you the lessons I prepared to share. Bible lessons are for us all…any age, any stage.” (Click here for the post.) Well, today I’d like to share the trait of perseverance with you.
Do you ever feel like you’re not good enough at something?
Have you ever done something that was hard, but chose to not give up?
You know that in a race all the runners run, but only one runner gets the prize. So run like that. Run to win! All who compete in the games use strict training. They do this so that they can win a prize—one that doesn’t last. But our prize is one that will last forever. So I run like someone who has a goal. I fight like a boxer who is hitting something, not just the air. It is my own body I fight to make it do what I want. I do this so that I won’t miss getting the prize myself after telling others about it. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Just like an athlete trains and prepares, we must too for our walk with Christ. The athlete may win a prize or not, but we will have an eternal prize.
I’ve witnessed many folks face obstacles that seemed daunting and exhausting. Geez, as I think about the trials that have come in life, I can’t help but think of our country’s current situations…financial woes, divisiveness amongst parties, races, employees and employers, sexuality, education, mental illnesses, and the list goes on and on. Whoa, can we please just stop, take a moment, sit right where you are and say a prayer for our country? Pray also for yourself and how you can be the light. Thank you and amen.
Okay, back to the original thought…when I look at the featured photo of my mom, grandpa Carol, daughter, and myself, I can vividly recall situations in these lives that would make you want to say, “I give up!” “I can’t take this anymore!” and “I’m not good enough!” But God…God revealed Himself every time…whether we acknowledge His presence or not…He was right there! He gave each the power to persevere and overcome whatever trial they were facing. It was through the power of the Holy Spirit and not of themselves.
In Galatians 6:9-10 we read, “We must not get tired of doing good. We will receive our harvest of eternal life at the right time. We must not give up. When we have the opportunity to do good to anyone, we should do it. But we should give special attention to those who are in the family of believers.” Let these verses be a reminder that even when others try to discourage us, or we don’t feel appreciated, or we just want to give up…press on/persevere…great is the reward.
The bible story example I shared with the children was Noah, Genesis 6-8. Here are some takeaways:
- It took Noah over 100 years to build the boat.
- People made fun of Noah and his family.
- He was persistent in trying to warn others and help them turn to God.
- Some believe it had never rained from the sky before. The Bible talks about how the water came from the ground prior to the flood.
- We hear about it raining 40 days and 40 nights, but they were on the boat for a little over a year!
- Through it all…he remained faithful…God was pleased with Noah.
Friend, God is not giving up on you. When you are doing something that will honor God, don’t give up, persevere…God will be pleased with you.
Your prize may not be given here on earth, but great is the reward in Heaven. Stay the course and focus on your eternal home. I pray that that home for you is heaven.
Blessings to you and yours,
Featured photo: We are so proud of and excited for Holly. She is the new co-director of the Fusion Art Gallery in St. Pete. Nana and grandpa came down from GA for a visit. They knew Holly didn’t have any days off, so we made the road trip there to visit with her.