Sep 11, 2012

Don't Throw It All Away

I must be doing it wrong, this life thing. Trouble seems to follow everywhere I go. I can’t get it right no matter how hard I try. And I try way too hard most of the time.

I travel in circles. I think I’ve made progress in certain places, only to look up and find myself right back where I started. And it’s tiring— some days I want to quit. Can’t it ever just be easy? Just once in the story of me could things work out like I hope and dream?

I think the answer is no.

And on this day when I’ve had enough and I throw up my arms and scream— because I’m filled to capacity with frustration toward things I cannot control, because I’m positive I can’t hang on one second longer—He greets me with the exact words I need for the moment:

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised – Hebrews 10:35-36 (NIV)

And there’s my answer: persevere.

The word persevere implies effort. It means to persist, to maintain purpose in spite of difficulty, to continue steadfastly in spite of __________, whatever that may be.  Perseverence is hard work; it’s determination; it’s a white-knuckled, sweaty-palmed, spaghetti-armed hanging on so intense that the reward has to be pried from the hands of the striver.

Yes, it’s hard. Yes, things are going wrong. Sometimes you’ll be tempted to give up. But don’t. Keep going. You will be rewarded. Not maybe, not hopefully, not only if things feel right or go the way you want them to. If you keep your confidence in Christ, if you persevere in what He has called you to, you will receive the promise. Period. That’s His guarantee to you.

The hard part is in the every day of it. In the waking up, getting up, choosing to move forward when all you want to do is crawl back into the warm darkness. But remember, only those who finish attain the prize.

Quitters never win and winners never quit. It’s impossible to win a race you don’t finish. The people who win the race are just as tired as the ones who quit. The only difference between the quitter and the winner is the stopping point— quitters stop early and winners run it out. Falling down, moving slowly, getting redirected, ending up in last place—none of that keeps you from the finish. It’s never over until you quit.

Be encouraged today. It’s hard work, it’s tiring, it’s a long journey, but God has it mapped out. He knows the end of the story. Don’t throw away your confidence over a fleeting moment of frustration. Remember, perseverance = promise. It’s finishing, not winning, that ensures the promise.