Perseverance Is Important

You will have spiritual success in this life only if you have the ability to endure. If there is one character strength that all Christians should have it should be the fact that they persevere.  A Christian should never quit.  We are admonished, over and over again to endure, to stay in the fight to the very end but perseverance is so rare today because it focuses on the future rather than the immediate present.  Perseverance is patient.  It keeps waiting, and believing and trusting, even when things take longer than expected. It keeps working, and seeking and striving, even when things turn out to be more difficult than anticipated.  It remains faithful, even when there are ample opportunities to throw in the towel, to give up and move on.  Perseverance means sticking with something for as long as God calls you to do so, no matter how long it takes, no matter how difficult or painful it becomes, no matter how many discouragements and disappointments and obstacles you encounter along the way.

Why is perseverance so important? Because the Bible shows us over and over again that God brings victory out of what looks to be failure and defeat.  God likes to demonstrate His power by turning around seemingly hopeless situations and if we give up too soon, we may miss the blessing of seeing the power of God at work in our lives.  The only way to know God’s grace is to persevere in a situation in which we need His grace.  If we run away, we may avoid the pain, but we will also be avoiding the chance to know God. Galatians 6:9 tells us not to become weary in doing good and that we will reap our harvest if we don’t give up.  It is when we persevere that we find that God’s grace is sufficient and it also reveals to us who God really is.

Is perseverance easy?  Of course not.  Otherwise, it wouldn’t be perseverance.  We don’t need God’s grace to persevere in the things we enjoy.  the Bible exhorts us to persevere because God knows there will be times when we will want to quit.  Perseverance implies difficulty but it is difficulty that has a purpose, and that purpose is to bring about a godly character that glorifies Almighty God.

 

 

 

 

Bounce Back

A football recruiter asked a coach what type of player he wanted him to find to add to his team for the upcoming season. The coach said ‘I don’t want the kind of guy who gets knocked down and stays down.’ ‘Ok’ the recruiter said – ‘that makes sense.’ The coach said ‘then there is the guy who gets knocked down, gets back up, gets knocked down, gets back up.’ The recruiter said ‘Ok, I know what you want – you want the guy who gets back up when he is knocked down, right?’ “No” replied the coach. “I want that guy who is knocking everybody down!”

To be successful in life we must be able to bounce back after going through a difficult situation. Giving up is always easier than standing up. Giving in is always easier than digging in. You can allow circumstances in your life to become set backs or opportunities to bounce back. God wants us to know that we can come back from a setback –we can bounce back. Setbacks are normal in life. The devil tries his best to take advantage of setbacks because he knows people are vulnerable when things don’t turn out as they had planned. You’ll find that every successful person has had a setback or two and the reason they became successful was because they knew how to bounce back. Remember, Joseph had several dreams that he would become a man of great authority but he was sold into slavery by his brothers. That wasn’t a part of his dream- that was a setback. And then he was falsely accused and put in prison about 13 years. That wasn’t part of the dream – that was a setback. Despite all of those setbacks, Joseph made a comeback.

God is letting us know that even when we suffer setbacks, we can bounce back. Like Joseph, we must remain true to our integrity and honor God in everything we do and say no matter what happens to us. We are not to become bitter but trust that God is working out everything for our good. Things turn out for the best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. We must be careful when we are in the midst of a setback not to allow it to stop us from reaching our destiny. I believe God made us like a rubber ball. The harder you slam a rubber ball to the ground the higher it bounces up. So we have to picture ourselves as rubber balls. We have to bounce when we hit rock bottom; we have to pull ourselves together and bounce back from a setback. God is the power that will help you to bounce back. So rely on God’s wisdom, His strength and His grace. Proverbs 24:16 says “”For a just man falls seven times, and rises up again.” This verse implies that falling down is not the end nor is it necessarily a onetime event. We will have highs and lows throughout life, but God always expects us to rise up again.

Fighting Goliath

Is Goliath taunting you today?

Goliath represents all of the obstacles in our lives that seem unbeatable and impossible to defeat.  It is that one huge problem that you think just might be your undoing.  It is a difficulty so great that it has you close to throwing in the towel.  Most of us have a Goliath or two in our lives but we must defeat them because they will prevent us from inheriting our inheritance and rob us of hope and joy in our lives.  You may not want to face your giants.  You may want to run from them in fear but fear has two meanings – forget everything and run or face everything and win.  The choice is yours. You may want to avoid your giants and hope that they will just go away.  You need to know that your giants will not just go away.  They must be faced and they can be defeated.  If you are a child of God, then God has given you everything you need to overcome your fear of fighting your giants. Romans 8:31,37 says “If God is for us, who can be against us? … Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

When David went to fight Goliath, it was not the armor of Saul or the strength of the whole Israelite army that he was trusting in, but it was God.  David believed that God would defeat Goliath.  If David had been trusting in himself, he would have been killed.  God was his strength and the battle was the Lord’s — not his.  When it becomes time to confront Goliath, our defense is our relationship with God. We must trust in His strength no matter what others may consider to be the best way out of our difficulties.  No matter what type of Goliath you may be facing, you must first believe that God is bigger than your problem.  Attack your giant in faith, knowing that God always gives the victory.  God did not save you to let you fall at the hand of your giant.  God is not interested in your defeat.  He is interested in your victory!

Giants are placed in our lives to grow us in the Lord.  You may not see your giants fall the instant you exercise faith in God.  Don’t let that cause you to lose hope.  You see, you cannot always believe what the eyes of flesh see!  But, you can always believe what the eyes of faith see.   Remember, we are to walk by faith and not by sight.  It may look like you are outgunned, outnumbered and in an impossible situation.  It looked that way for David and that is why his Goliath laughed at him.  Goliath had a false sense of superiority.  I would just like to remind you that we serve a God who specializes in doing the impossible.  If you will bring that hopeless, impossible situation to God and then go and face it in faith, you will see that you can do all things in Christ who gives you the strength. (Philippians 4:13).

Is Your Fear Bigger Than Your Faith?

Does your problem seem bigger than life, bigger than God himself? It isn’t!  God is bigger than any problem you will ever have and if you believe that God isn’t infinitely bigger than your circumstances, then your fear is bigger than your faith.  “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.”(Hebrews 11:1).  “But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6).

God appeared to Sarah when she was ninety years old and told her she was going to have a baby.  The thought was so ridiculous to her that she laughed.  Then God rebuked her when He asked “is anything too hard for the Lord?”(Genesis 18:14).  A year later she gave birth to a son, whom she named Isaac, which in Hebrew means “laughter”.   Every time Sarah called his name, she reminded herself of the day she laughed in God’s face at the thought of an impossible situation.

When you are facing problems and difficulties in your life, don’t focus on how big your problems are, but focus on God who is much bigger than your problems.  Ask yourself if there is anything too hard for God?  Nothing is impossible with God and He has the power to help you get through.  Even when the situation seems impossible, God will always show you the way out.  He cares for you and all you need to do is trust Him.  Remember that all problems can be solved, circumstances can change but God will never change because He is the same yesterday, today and forever and He will cause you to laugh in amazement at all that He has in store for you.

You Were Created To Win

No one likes to lose. It feels so much better to win. Your battles in life are real and I am sure you have gone through times when you just wanted to surrender but Romans 8:37 says that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” I challenge you to change your perspective when you find your back is up against a wall. I believe that every problem has a solution and you must find that solution no matter what it takes.

All of us have untapped ideas and solutions that are just waiting for us to lock into. Don’t think that just because you find yourself in a difficult situation, that it is God’s will for you. God wants you to succeed; He wants you to be a winner but it will require something that is not easy to do and that is to ‘think.’ Most people don’t think.  If they don’t see the answer immediately they give up and tell themselves “I guess it wasn’t meant to be.” Allow the Holy Spirit to become your business partner, your counselor and your guide.  Ask Him for wisdom and He will lead you to not just any answer, but to the one answer that will turn out for your good. Psalm 107:6 says “then they cried to the Lord in their troubles and He delivered them from their distress.”

Even when you are being led by God to accomplish His purposes, you will run into obstacles that will make you ask yourself ‘did I really hear from God?’  You must trust God and lean not unto your own understanding. Nothing or no one can change God’s plan for you.  Remember,  no situation is ever hopeless or impossible.  Every problem has a solution – you just haven’t found it yet. We must not allow ourselves to feel hopeless.  People who don’t know God have a reason to feel hopeless but not the children of the Most High God! The Holy Spirit is there to guide you to the solution that will cause you to win, but many times we forget that we have this advocate sent by the Father to help us. When Jesus departed He told us about the Comforter, the One who would take His place here on earth. Think about Him and you will find that you really don’t have to lean on your own understanding.

Live with hope. No solution is ever hopeless or impossible to achieve. The Spirit of God will give you the wisdom to think outside of the box. We must press into God if we want to win. A person with a winning attitude will always find a way to win and not even consider failure as an option.  You were created with the God given ability to also create.  You were created to win.  May God’s will be done in you and through you so that the world will be blessed.

Have You Asked For It?

Do you know that God has given us over 3000 promises in His Word? Do you also know that God wants to make these promises a reality in your life?  Why, then, don’t we have those things that God has promised?  The answer is simple; we don’t ask. Matthew 7:7 says “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” It is our responsibility to ask and that is why many of us are missing out on our blessings because we have failed to ask. James 4:2 warns us “that we have not because we ask not.”

Asking God is the solution to all of our problems.  Asking God acknowledges that we have a problem and we believe that God is the solution.  You must ask.  If we want something from God, we must ask.  If we ask, we receive.  If we do not ask, we do not receive. Knowing this, I wonder how many of us apply it consistently in our lives.  Many of us have a wish list when we need to have a ‘ask list.’ We wish for that a situation to get better, or that we might be able to do this or that, but too often we fail to turn our wish into a prayer. Jesus wants us to receive the desires of our hearts but the only way to receive from the Father is to ask.

Don’t let your mind jump to the “what if’s” and try to figure out whether or not you will receive what you have asked for.  Just take a moment to believe God and take Him at His word.  He will amaze you at His goodness.  Whatever you desire, ask God for it.  You will never have what you never ask for.

What Are You Dreaming About?

Do you have a dream that is so big that you have convinced yourself that it could never happen in your lifetime? The bigness of it even scares you when you think about it, yet you can’t stop thinking about it. I’m talking about a dream that is beyond normal, beyond everyone’s expectations. That dream is a seed that God has planted within you and it is His plan for your life. Acts 2:17 says “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.”

If you are dreaming a dream that only the favor of God will bring to pass, guard your dream in your heart until it is time for you to put your faith to work. Be prepared for opposition – it comes with the territory but faith is seeing every situation and circumstance as God sees it regardless how challenging or hopeless it might seem. God is greater than any obstacle that the enemy of your soul will throw at you. Moses faced the Red Sea but kept moving forward and saw God do the impossible. David saw that no giant of a problem is too big for God if you only believe. Joshua saw his enemies occupying his promised land, but God showed him that the battle belonged to the Lord. You are more than a conqueror. If you stay focused and committed, you too will come to know that God can do exceedingly more than you can ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20).

What has God enabled you to see that does not exist yet? Don’t be afraid to do what no one has ever done. Don’t focus on what you are up against; focus on your goal.  Walt Disney said “it’s fun to do the impossible.”  Never think that anything is impossible because God might just be waiting for someone with enough faith to do that very thing.  Could that be you?

It’s Never Too Late To Start Over

Great things can be accomplished at any age. It’s never too late to be who you want to be. If you are not where you want to be, don’t be afraid to start over. Start over and build something better than you had. We fail only when we fail to try again. Failure is the path of least persistence. Have faith and keep trying. Have the courage to take a risk. That’s what brings success in life. Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb, that’s where the fruit is. If at first you don’t succeed, you’re normal. Try again. Many times success is right around the corner. You are never a failure until you quit. The fact is everyone experiences failure in life.  We all have setbacks and losses but what matters most is what you do when things don’t work out the way you had planned. God is more interested in your future than He is in your past. Could it be that God’s plan for you is bigger than you had thought? Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Our attitude toward life will determine life’s attitude toward us.  If you think you can’t, chances are you won’t.  On the other hand, if you think you can, wonderful things will begin to happen.  Life will give back to you a reward for your perseverance.  If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody will.  Don’t expect others to see gold where you can only see dust.  If you don’t believe that you are capable then you are doomed.  Focus on your vision and not your current circumstances.  Renew your mind so that it aligns itself with the kingdom of God.  If you can believe that all things are possible, then all things are possible.  What’s possible for you is not based on what others think but on what you think.  Proverbs 23:7 says “as a man thinks in his heart so is he.”  Think positive, act positive and you will get positive results.

It’s never too late to start over.  Your past is gone.  Shape your future and make the most of the present.  You are not perfect but neither is anyone else.  You’ve made mistakes but so has everyone else.  So relax.  God has given you everything you need to become the person He created you to be but it is up to you to pursue that dream in your heart.  You deserve the best and when you have achieved all that you have set out to do, give God the glory and remember that you are blessed to be a blessing.

What’s Motivating You?

Every successful person will tell you that he/she had someone or something that kept them motivated during their climb to success. That motivating factor influenced them during the difficult times when they thought about giving up. You can find motivation everywhere and not all motivation comes from something positive. It’s easy to take a positive comment and use it as motivation but it is also possible to take negative comments and use it as fuel to press on. Turn the tables on negativism. Feed on it. Don’t let it defeat you or cause you to give up. Instead let negativism challenge you, view it as an opportunity to show what you are really made of.

If a person is correctly motivated, there is nothing that can stop them from accomplishing their goals. That is why you should surround yourself with people who support and encourage you and avoid people who put up barriers to what you want to accomplish and achieve in life. If someone tells you that you can’t do something it only means that you can’t accomplish your goal with them. Be cautious with what you feed your mind and soul. Feed on positivity and let that propel you into positive action.

God is our final say in who and what’s negative and who and what’s positive in our lives. With God all things are possible. Therefore, you’re absolutely capable of doing anything. You can because of who you are. You are a child of God. Let the thought of pleasing God motivate you to do more, be more and make a difference in this world.

 

Keep Moving

There is only one way to move in the kingdom of God and that is forward! Believers should always be growing and moving forward because if we are not going forward we are either standing still or falling behind. Time continues to move.  Nothing stays the same. Move on to what is next and embrace all that God has for you.  Moving forward will require a higher level of faith but your past victories are there to uplift and encourage you. Don’t fear the future and know that there will also be new battles to fight. Your past victories are to encourage you to keep moving. When we get to a place when the way forward looks difficult, we often tend to take a glance back over our shoulder to see what it is we’ve left behind. We are tempted to think that it’s just easier to turn around and go back or remain where we are than it is to continue to move forward.  We already know what is behind us and the fear of the unknown is real. We are comfortable with what is familiar. We’ve been there and done that and besides, there’s no faith required to go back to where you once were. However, if we always do what we have always done, then we will only receive more of what we already have.

Don’t ever become stuck at where you are right now. If you do, you are settling for less. Want more – you deserve more and the tests you will face will show God how badly you want everything that He has for you. Hold onto your promises and let the tests strengthen you.  There is only one way to pass your tests and that is to keep moving forward. There can never be a time or place in our lives that we stop moving forward! You are not finished yet! The future is full of all kinds of possibilities. We must never accept as permanent what is supposed to only be temporary. Your present stage is meant to be temporary; you have many more steps to climb so never give what is temporary permission to become permanent. Don’t become complacent and stop moving. Standing still won’t get you where you want to go! Turning back leaves you powerless to move forward and remember that other people have a vested interest in you and they want to see that you are determined to keep moving forward no matter what. Always look towards the future with hope and know that every step you take is one step closer to fulfilling God’s plan for your life.