Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 1, 2015
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:36
Over the years I’ve been very excited about new year’s resolutions in January only to lose momentum in March when I encounter obstacles to my goals. I am learning to have fewer ideas I implement well, rather than many that end up overwhelming my capacity to execute. I am also growing to understand God’s will requires mental toughness, emotional stamina and spiritual discipline. For example, a simple idea like setting out my work out clothes in the bathroom the night before sets me up for the gym the next day. Resilience prepares and is faithful in the face of resistance.
In Scripture, those the Lord used encountered multiple obstacles, failures and opportunities to quit. However deep within their souls was a resolve to follow through where the Lord was leading them. Not doing God’s will was not an option. Thus, Moses chose the harder path of being a slave with his people rather than the easier route of enjoying the riches of Egypt. Esther stood with her people, exposed a traitor and challenged the king at the risk of being put to death. Resilience speaks loudly with its quiet perseverance. God blesses a life engaged in life.
“As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy” (James 5:11).
What does the Lord want for you that requires ongoing resilience? Maybe in this season of life you start work an hour early and finish work an hour early, so you are available for your family before dinner. Another idea is to develop a fun reward system with small children around their obedience and completion of chores, possibly a low tech poster board with names, days and a square for a star highlighting their finished tasks. In relation to diet, perhaps few sugars or carbs during the week, but on the weekend enjoy a limited amount. Regardless, enjoy rewards for your resilience.
Above all—by God’s grace—we stay resilient in our relationship with our heavenly Father. Like other relationships that are worthwhile, we will experience distractions and distance from time to time. However, we persevere in prayer—especially when we don’t feel spiritual, because we know it’s the spiritual thing to do. Eventually our emotions will catch up with our will. We do the will of God when it’s hard—for this is how the Spirit softens our heart. As we approach a new year, let’s be resilient with a few goals and trust Christ with the results. God rewards resilience.
“By faith he [Moses] left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the resilience to stay faithful to Your ways and Your will.
Post/Tweet this today: We do the will of God when it’s hard—for this is how the Spirit softens our heart. #resilience #wisdomhunters
Additional Resource: Ted Talk on Grit and Perseverance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaeFnxSfSC4
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