“Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement…”
Romans 15:5a; NASB
We are over 40 days into the new year and it’s time for an assessment. For those of you who made a new year’s resolution, have you implemented the change(s) you vowed to make? Statistically, less than 25% stick to their resolutions for more than 30 days and less than 8% accomplish what they resolved to do. So if you’re still on point, congratulations! But if you’re not, is it because you went into it knowing deep down that you would be with the vast majority who don’t make it? Possibly you chose not to make any resolutions at all because you were certain you would fail to keep them. This fear of failure mentality is far too common and can lead to regret about the things you wish you had tried but never did.
Many times failure results from giving up before it’s time to give up. It tells us in the scriptures that perseverance is a key to accomplishing God’s plan for our lives. James tells us: “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12) Think about that, perseverance can lead to receiving the crown of life! With that in mind we should work steadily on persevering through whatever comes along to derail us. It is difficult to move forward when discouragement and frustration seem to be at every turn. There is, however, a sure-fire way to defeat those feelings when they come. It is through prayer.
The best example of this is Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He prayed so hard “… His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.” (Luke 22:44) He was asking God if He could avoid the coming events, but if it was God’s will, He would endure. This is obviously an extreme example, but it shows us how we should go into whatever we know is God’s will for us. As today’s verse assures us, it is God who gives us the perseverance and encouragement we need. We all have a level of perseverance naturally, some more than others. You can trust that when yours runs out, the Lord will provide
I am not a fan of the new year’s resolution process. I am however a firm believer in prayerfully setting goals and trusting that God will give us whatever will be needed to accomplish the goals He has given us. There will be resistance to accomplishing anything worthwhile in this life. The devil will see to that. By persevering in prayer God will give you the supernatural perseverance and encouragement you need to accomplish whatever you set out to do in His name.
Have a great week and God bless.