|The crucifixion of our Lord in a window in|
the Cathedral of Lincoln, England
Facing tough relationships or circumstances not only refines our character but also give us an opportunity to witness God in action. After all, we cannot handle life by ourselves. We may think we can, but we usually exhaust ourselves trying to handle burdens we were never meant to carry alone.
In his letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul writes these words of encouragement: "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart" (Gal. 6:9). Of all people, Paul knew what it was to face daunting circumstances. He had been shipwrecked twice, bitten by a deadly snake, stoned and nearly killed, and had a health condition that never seemed to leave him. Yet in and through it all, Paul demonstrated persistence. He knew that his purpose was higher than the transitory events currently surrounding him. He could have walked away and said, "Forget it!" However, he knew that God was bigger than whatever came his way. He knew who he was in Christ and trusted in the promises which God had given for all who live for His glory.
Discouragement and procrastination are two weapons that Satan happily uses against believers. If he can deter us by either means, he will do so because he does not want us to continue to do good in the face of hard times. Let me give some examples from the Bible of those who persisted. First, there was the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He persisted in his forty day fast despite all the temptation to quit offered in various forms by Satan. Secondly, we can look to the example of King David who could have easily given up following God when his life was in jeopardy as Saul pursued him. Even when he was presented with the opportunity to kill Saul, David chose to wait upon the Lord and His timing rather than taking things into his own hands. Finally, as I mentioned before, Paul, himself, was a great example of persistence.
In the verse which follows Paul's admonishment to "keep on keeping on", he tells us something very important: "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith" (Gals. 2:10). Not only are we to persist, but we are also to practice doing good to all and especially to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Being a living example of persistence proves our faith in a God who holds all the circumstances of our lives in His hands. He knows the beginning form the end of all things. Therefore, we must not quit or give in! Discouragement will always try to eat away at our resolve, but we can take a stand in Christ.
|Stained Glass windows at the Cathedral of Lincoln|
in Lincolnshire England
Take God at His Word today. Remember that persistence will bring rewards when we are seeking to glorify God with our lives. Others are watching to see if we will complete what we have begun with grace. Let us seek to keep on doing good despite our hardships for God's harvest is sweet and refreshing. Selah!