"You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised."
- Hebrews 10:36 NIV
Years ago when I was a young teenager, my Mom gave me a fridge magnet - it was an image of two little kids building a sandcastle and on it was this quote: "Great works are performed by perseverance." I don't have that magnet anymore, but the words on that magnet I've never forgotten - nor the encouragement I receive from my Mom still to this day. Often times that simple quote will come back to me and ring ever more true. Perseverance is a powerful word - the meaning of the word is "steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success." I believe its one of the greatest virtues a person can have and one for which we often have the greatest need.
If you've ever had God clearly show you something that is truly His will - you probably know that in the fulfilling of His will, just like anything else in life, it isn't always easy and you will sometimes encounter challenges or obstacles that need overcoming. But when we truly know that something is God's will - we'll also find peace in the fact that He will work it out.
In speaking about perseverance through obstacles, one of the biggest obstacles to fulfilling God's plans for our lives is often our own selves. Feelings of inferiority ( thoughts of "I'm not cut out for this job") or fear ("I'm afraid I can't") or guilt at past failures (thinking that "I'm not good enough" or "God won't do that for me") can hinder us from God's greatest blessings. But feelings are just feelings - they don't have to rule our lives and our outcomes if we don't let them. Most of the time, our feelings (especially negative ones) don't usually speak the truth to us about our situation - and that's why it's usually not a good idea to listen to them! Yes, sometimes I need to hear this just as much as anyone else :)
The other day I was listening to Hebrews 12 on my listener's Bible and these verses stood out in my hearing:
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
- Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV
As we can see here, it is our choice to throw off things that hinder us from God's plan. It may be a devastating report, a discouraging word, a bad habit or a unconfessed sin that needs to be thrown off, to be taken to the feet of Jesus in prayer and left there. Jesus Himself is the Pioneer and Perfecter of our faith. He is the One Who walked out this journey of faith before us - as our Pioneer to show us The Way. He is also the One Who will perfect us through our faith in Him.
"Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." - James 1:4 NIV
In 1 Timothy 4:16 NIV, we find Paul the Apostle admonishing young Timothy, "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."
This verse always makes me pause and think
about how its not just how I write that will preach the Gospel to those
around me, but its more importantly how I live. To persevere in faith in
Jesus Christ not only is salvation to our souls, but it is salvation lived
out in front of those we contact each and every day.
I want to encourage you today, don't give up on the things God has placed on your heart. Don't lose heart in the face of uncertainty or discouragement. I'm praying for you and because of the Lord I can say like the Apostle Paul, "Being confident of this, that He Who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." - Philippians 1:6 NIV
"May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance." - 2 Thessalonians 3:5 NIV
Motivation and determination isn't about how long the journey is - its about how long you choose to stay where you are.
By, Jessi Wasell
p.s. All of this talk about motivation and perseverance reminds me of a song.... That's No Mountain by, the Crabb Family. Perhaps you've heard of it? If not, I'd like to encourage you to look it up :)
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