People often ask their heroes how they got to where they are. We look at success stories with stars in our eyes and long to know the secret to achieving our goals and becoming like those we look up to. More times than not, the secret to success lies in years of striving and perseverance.
Sometimes a journey to something you want or know is better can be grueling and lackluster. A period of waiting to reach God’s next step for you might look like working a job you dislike until you can pay off school or your house, or it could be the daily grind of keeping positive in your relationships or your marriage because you hope at some point it will get better.
Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (NIV). It is easy to grow weary when you are staring down the waiting and work that stands between you and the promise on a thin horizon. The journeys toward the biggest rewards aren’t smooth sailing. They are full of years of sweat and set-backs, and can sometimes leave us wondering if it’s really worth it, or if our promise will ever really come.
We have faith when we keep going, even as the going gets tough. It’s our continual perseverance that proves our faith and grows us into better people with blessed lives. When we continue to push forward, God transforms our efforts into precious rewards that far outweigh whatever frustrations it took to get them.
The best parts of life often come through times that require a long time of perseverance. Paul speaks to this in Romans 5:3-4, “…but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (NIV)
Our perseverance and our faith are the ingredients for some of God’s greatest work in our lives. Giving up on the journey because it’s too difficult or because we are discouraged is when we reject the potential gifts God wishes to give us, and when we give up on the person we could be. The best life we can hope for is the one God has for us at the end of our journeys, wherever our journeys might be leading us.
At the end, we don’t just get the promise we were waiting for, but we receive gifts that come as part of our journey. We grow in character, and we continue on with renewed hope as we experience God’s faithfulness. His gracious hand pulls us above the pain, setbacks, and frustrations of chasing the goodness He called us to.
We may not become like our heroes, or achieve the exact goals we set out to accomplish, but just by the action of moving forward and walking through the doors God opens for us, we can know that where we end up, while not what we expected, will be better than we can imagine.
– Sarah Eberwein
Listen to this week’s message from Pastor Caleb