You know the deal, every year there's a list of New Year's Resolutions and challenges that we can barely live up to after the first month. You see the vision, and the goal, but you probably won't achieve it. Cynical? I know, but you know what happened last year...😒 I actually found a list of 2017 resolutions before I started writing this post and NONE of those things happened in that year. In fact, I got a divorce and was struggling financially and emotionally. What goals? What resolutions? I GOT PROBLEMS. Do you know what the problem was?
Lack of persistence.
I knew my calling, I had started already, but circumstance and opposition had the upper-hand. Ish happens, but if I had stayed persistent in spite of them, I'd probably have some of those goals scratched off of the list. What is persistence?
"Continuing firmly or obstinately in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition."
It's determination, no matter what.
See, resolutions are commitments, something most of us fear. We fear that we are committing to the wrong thing or that our commitments won't have a return. Maybe writing a list of resolutions is overwhelming, seeing another "life to-do-list" might be a drag. Not to mention the hundreds of challenges businesses and brands like to throw at you, gosh, I got overwhelmed listening to my radio recently. "Take this challenge, do this, eat better...." I'm not sure about you guys, but sometimes you just don't need another thing to do lol.
So I want to encourage you to try something different; one thing. No lists, no sticky notes (unless you want to write this down), just one thing:
That's it. Just be persistent. Take a look at the definition again, "Continue firmly in a course of action in spite of difficulty or circumstance." Even if you have a list of resolutions, if you just be persistent, you can accomplish them all. Your circumstances might be tough, you probably have another kid on the way, financially it's tight, but you must continue firmly on your course of action. This is so for me as much as it may be for you. 😩
I read something a few months ago that revolutionized my thinking in regards to staying persistent. It came from the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25. We mostly know the general meaning of this parable, however, the late Billy Graham said something that really gave me relief! He said,
Can we have a praise break right now? 💃💃 In the Parable of the Talents, we read that the first servant was trusted with 5 talents and doubled it, the second servant was trusted with 2 and doubled that. And their rewards were the same!!! "Well done good and faithful servant, you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many." - Matthew 25:23 Just, WOW. They were trusted with different measures but rewarded the same for their faithfulness; they both doubled what they had been given.
We have each been given different gifts, talents, ministries, assignments, and we will be rewarded on our faithfulness with all that God has entrusted to us. This gave me relief because I was looking for fruit, I was too focused on what was coming out of my efforts. But God was looking at the content of my character and stewardship. He's not looking at what comes out of what you do, God is looking at what you are putting into it! Let the church give a sigh of relief and say AMEN!!
Just because you don't see people buying it, liking it, sharing it, wearing it, subscribing to it, listening to it, does not mean you aren't doing anything important! I'm convinced that God wants to see you become a faithful steward, who doesn't allow cowardice, discouragement, or circumstance to hinder His work in you. He will add to your numbers and increase your work when you are ready to handle the growth. Take a look at this verse, Philippians 2:13:
The note is very helpful to the context of the scripture:
Will you stay persistent, continuing firmly in the course of action in spite of difficulty? Do you trust God's strength in you to bring it to pass?