Sometimes it feels like it is impossible to persevere in the faith. Days get hard. Some seasons are incredibly hard and draining. Yet, we are called to persevere. But how?
Welcome back to day 27 in the 30 Days of Prayer series! Only three more days to go in the series, and I am so excited about how it has been well-received. Keep the feedback coming!
Perseverance is not the easiest concept to embrace, but it surely is an incredibly fruitful virtue that we have the opportunity to enjoy.
Grab your cup of warm, soothing liquid delights (I’ve got mine!), and let’s dive into another day to grow closer to Him.
30 Days of Prayer: Pray for the Strength to Persevere
My life as a mom and wife has not been all sunshine and lollipops. Our marriage has been challenging at times, full of struggles and terrible difficulties. My parenting journey has been extremely difficult and challenging in a litany of ways (read about my son’s auto-immune disorder, or my very strong-willed child…and then of course parenting in a 250 sq ft trailer with seven children).
There have been so many times when I have wanted to cut and run, but truly, where would I go?
It is not always easy to persevere. Especially in the heat of the moment, the instincts to fight or flee are surely strong. But, when we embrace the blessings that follow a decision to persevere instead of run, we open the doors for incredible fruit to follow.
The world leads us to think that we can easily handle all that is thrown at us on our own. But, scripture argues against this perspective.
Life was never designed to be lived without the constant presence and connection to the Creator of everything and everyone.
From the dawn of creation to the waning of the sun on the final day, our Abba designed this whole thing to function best when we draw near to Him with our entire being. But, we tend to neglect this portion of our responsibility and only seek Him out when we need something done.
This is like only using your spouse for sex when you have a physical desire, but never actually getting emotionally connected with them in a relationship.
Most of us women would call that abuse. And recently with the whole “me too” outpouring on social media (regarding sexual harassment and abuse of women) we have seen how prevalent it is for the flesh to abuse another in a state of selfishness.
But, friends, how often do we treat God with the same neglect and apathy? How often do we avoid the hard work of connecting with Him in vulnerability to persevere in the work of faith?
Maybe I am the only one, but in my flesh, it is EASY to avoid the hard stuff.
It is easy to run from the frustrations of life and not really want to seek the wisdom of my Father, because I am afraid that I might actually have to CHANGE.
Am I alone here?
It is NOT natural for me to want to persevere. On the contrary, everything inside of me in my flesh wants the EASY road. I don’t WANT to feel the intense desire to grow and mature. It’s hard, sacrificial, and not at all what I thought I signed up for in my youth.
In my flesh, I desire to not have to press onward. Actually, I just want to veg away the days doing nothing and not having to struggle through the work of perseverance; the emotional rollercoaster of obedience to the Spirit that leads me to grow in a deeper and more intimate relationship with Him.
My flesh despises this walk. It is emotional, frustrating, heartbreaking, tear-stricken, and emptying.
But, these things only remain true when I remain distant from Him.
All of this changes when I pour my heart out to Him, instead of simply being emptied. As I pour my broken pains and pieces into His loving hands, He tenderly holds them with the greatest Love and carefully carries them to a place of purpose.
He reveals the most intimate of love stories for me, personalizing His purpose as though I am the apple of His eye…me and me alone.
When I place myself in the palm of His hand, it is as though no one else in the whole world exists. Just Him and me, together, forever.
And, I am renewed. In Him, I am strengthened. Through Him, I can step out once again in the faith. Again to persevere forward one more day, willing to be poured out like a drink offering and then filled up again.
In His loving arms, I can do all things, even the things from which my flesh wants to run. All the pains and sorrows and struggles and worry and face-planting, tear-stained prayer sessions have a purpose when I exchange my vision for His.
Through my deepening pouring out to Him, He more deeply pours into me. And, I am made new.
So, yeah, everything in me hates to do the work of the Spirit, as it challenges my flesh to grow and to quiet. But, I love everything of the Spirit for it changes me into a new creation, filled with His ever-present Love and constant provision for strengthening and renewal.
It may not be easy to persevere, but it surely brings the most lasting rewards. For if we do not stay the course for our struggles, how will we ever see the fulfillment of His many promises?
And, truly, I want to see them all fulfilled. I want to experience every single promise He has ever declared for my life.
So, I will choose to persevere. I choose to get up yet once again, to dust myself off and lean into the fight
Again, I will decide to do the good works, for I value the rewards of perseverance far more than the false peace of apathy in a world where I was created for victory.
Abba, help me to lean into the fight in YOUR strength above all else. Help me to persevere and to fight the good fight of faith. I want to experience Your many blessings in my life that You have planned for me. Show me the Way.
You alone are the strength I need. Speak Your Truth into my heart. Do not let me stray. Keep me ever close to You, and lead me in the Way everlasting. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Sweet sister, fight the good fight. Lean into the hard stuff. Run to Him in all the Truth of your heart, and listen to all that He has for you. Seek Him and His Ways at all times, and He will show you the way to go.
Be patient. Persevere. And, never give up the fight.