Sunday, April 17, 2005

Stay the Course

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; [24] and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,
Hebrews 10:23-24 (NASB-U)

Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. [36] For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
Hebrews 10:35-36 (NASB-U)

Ah. Endurance. Perseverence. Determination. Holding on. Hanging in there. These traits and attitudes are part of biblical leadership. And it's no wonder.

What leader hasn't felt like quitting? Who hasn't wanted to give up? How often have we wanted to throw in the towel? Sometimes we're so exhausted or discouraged we just don't feel like going on.

I can say, without exception, that the times I've wanted to quit or give up have been the times when my eyes were focused most on myself, my inadequacies, and my circumstances and least on the character and power of God.

If you're discouraged just now, remember these truths from God's word:

2 Corinthians 9:8 (NASB-U): And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;

Philippians 1:6 (NASB-U): For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

1 Cor. 15:58 (NASB-U): Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

2 Cor. 1:8-9 (NASB-U): For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; [9] indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead;

2 Cor. 12:9 (NASB-U): And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

1 Thes. 5:24 (NASB-U): Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

When I'm discouraged and feel like quitting, I ask God to lift my eyes from my circumstances and my inability to His sovereignty and might. The vehicle through which God accomplishes this in me in His word. Scripture moves my eyes to Him.

If I'm physically exhausted, I take time to sleep, exercise, and eat right, and I pray for strength. If I'm spirit-weary, I pray for renewal. But most of all I ask God to reveal more of Himself to me. I ask Him to move my eyes to Him. And He does.

If you're discouraged today, take a few moments to meditate on the passages above. Allow God to renew you through His word. Allow Him to move your eyes off yourself and your circumstances and to set them squarely on Him.

Hang in there.

'Til next time,


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