Have you ever been so discouraged, you felt you couldn’t go on? I’ve felt that before, and more than once, I almost quit and walked away. It’s a good thing I didn’t give up on what God called me to do, though, because then I would have missed His plan for me. I persevered and kept moving forward, which is often the difference between success and failure.
Moving forward when things are tough isn’t easy, but there is always a reward. In the Bible are examples of people who refused to fold. Moses continued to lead the people through the desert despite the hardships he encountered, and Jesus kept moving forward with His ministry despite objections to His message. God promises that when we persevere, it makes a difference in this life and the one to come. “By your steadfastness and patient endurance you shall win the true life of your souls” (Luke 21:19, AMP).
Perseverance goes hand-in-hand with patience. These are godly traits, and when we don’t shy away from them, our character is developed. It’s painful at the time, but the Scriptures encourage us not to quit. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds,because you know that the testing of your faithproduces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be matureand complete, not lacking anything. Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him” (James 1:2-4, 12, NIV). Whenever we face opposition without abandoning our stance in the Word, God is pleased.
When we feel our conscience nudging us, often it’s the Holy Spirit giving us direction. The interesting thing is that when we hear that clear voice inside of us, it often tells us to go against popular opinion. We can either back down, or step out in faith to do what God tells us to do. Although it’s much easier just to stop trying, we grow stronger spiritually when we stay the course. “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:3-5).
God has a plan for each of our lives, and often that plan runs contrary to what our physical senses tell us. His plan for us is much grander, more beautiful, and more powerful than anyone could imagine. It’s specifically designed to fit the individual gifts and talents with which He’s blessed us. When we hear His calling and respond accordingly, we can expect pushback from others, but God honors our commitment when we refuse to cave in. “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13).
When we have the courage to endure, we’re spared from the endless “what ifs” and “would’ve, could’ve, should’ve” second-guessing that can follow us the rest of our lives. Whether we press on or give up is our decision. What will you do?
By Creflo Dollar