Life is not easy. It’s full of challenges, and when we face those challenges, we have a choice. Do we stick with it and persevere? Or do we give up?
My mom texted me yesterday with the results from her recent MRI. On top of severe osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, scleroderma, a herniated disc in her back, and celiac disease, they also discovered she has a radial capitellum capsular edema and a posterolateral capsular synovial cyst.
All fancy medical terms that contribute to the intense chronic pain she lives with on a daily basis.
She was recently confined to a wheelchair.
In other words, the pain and debilitating illness she now faces are nearly unbearable.
Some days it feels like too much.
It is a lot for her to persevere in these times of chronic pain, uncertainty, and a rapidly deteriorating health.
Hard for her husband, children, and grandchildren to watch as well.
But she perseveres. And no, neither she nor I will tell you that it’s easy or that she doesn’t struggle at times.
The Covid-19 virus that has changed life as we know it.
A difficult boss.
A challenging relative.
The effort to lose weight for health reasons.
The challenge to bring up your grades.
Working two jobs to afford basic necessities for your family.
Being a caregiver.
Trying to move on after a death or divorce.
These can all bring about difficult life situations where it’s easy to give up and give in.
The Apostle Paul went through many trials and hardships and persevered for the Gospel. Missionaries today persist in bringing the Truth to people who may never otherwise hear the Good News of eternal life through Jesus Christ.
Even in families, friendships, and neighborhoods, faithful believers hope to plant seeds. Pastors preach to both believers and unbelievers each Sunday.
Or even the perseverance in raising our child(ren) for Christ in an increasingly sinful and hostile world. Yet, when we continue to instill in our children the importance of a relationship with God, we will someday reap the rewards.
How do we persevere and why is it important that we do?
By keeping our eyes on Jesus. The second we take our eyes off of Him, as Peter did in Matthew 14:30-31, we sink.
Realizing that He knows the “big picture.” How it starts, the middle, and the ending. Remember that we see the tiny hand-held TV screen of life, while God sees an enormous big-screen TV. Or to look at it a different way, we see one word in an entire book, while He sees the entire book – every word, sentence, paragraph, and chapter.
Remembering that even in times of hardship, He loves us and will never leave us.
Knowing that He is a great listener…and never sleeps. His “line” is open 24/7/365.
Being assured that He’s got this and was not caught off guard.
Spending time in constant prayer, giving thanks for all He has done, seeking His will for your life, and laying down prayer requests are tantamount to a close relationship with Him.
Reading God’s Word and learning about the faithful ones of the Bible who persevered. To know we are not alone in our difficulties gives us hope and courage.
Keep going forward…even if you feel like you’re constantly going backwards.
Making sure you have a good support system. This can be a loving spouse and children, caring friends, and a faithful church body.
Being encouraged by listening to uplifting Christian music. What we fill our minds with impacts us, whether positively or negatively.
Facing each day one step at a time. Set small and realistic goals.
Remember that He is with us each step of the way. We never have to “do life” alone.
Life is not easy. Everyone has a struggle, or multiple struggles, that they face on a daily or ongoing basis. But with faith in God and perseverance, we can face our hardships head-on and emerge victorious.