Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fall...Even the Leaves Are Losing Their Grip!

Woo wee! I don't know what it is about October, but it is always the month when I seem to run out of steam. I love fall, but always seem to hit a wall this time of year. What can I say? Even the leaves are losing their grip! I guess the excitement and energy of starting a new school year begins to give way to routine and exhaustion. Whatever it is, it wears me OUT! You, too? I was thinking today that I need a little perseverance. One of my favorite bible verses is, "Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:30-31. Because I've been feeling a little faint, I decided to study a little on perseverance.

Webster defines perseverance as "the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult." That requires some endurance. "Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that He has promised." Hebrews 10:36. Receiving all He has promised--well now that sounds like a pretty good deal because Matthew 24:13 says, "But the one who endures to the end will be saved." Can't get a better promise than that. I am all for being saved. So how do we endure through hardships? How do we keep going when the going gets tough? This is what I am learning:

Keep Your Focus
Hebrews 11:27 says, "It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king's anger. He kept right on going BECAUSE HE KEPT HIS EYES ON THE ONE WHO IS INVISIBLE."  Moses had a lot of great reasons to give up and not begin, much less complete, his  journey. Anger of Pharaoh, perceived limitations in his abilities, and a rebellious people could easily cause someone to give up, but Moses didn't. He kept his eyes on the one who is invisible. (That's God, y'all.) I love the way that is phrased. We find more on that thought in 2 Corinthians 4:18, "So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." Troubles, trials, fatigue...those things we see now will soon fade so hang on!

Don't Do It Alone
"Search for the LORD and for his strength; continually seek him." 1 Chronicles 16:11.  When we seek and find God, we get to tap into his supernatural strength. I love this verse: "Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name. When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them. With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation." Psalm 91:14-16. God is just waiting to deliver us, protect us, support us, rescue us, and satisfy us. That is good stuff! We don't have to do it all alone!

Let Go
"Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you." 1 Peter 5:7. Sometimes hanging on requires letting go. I am not so good at that, but I am trying to get better. Worries and fears add up. They are like a burden upon our backs. Maybe part of our exhaustion comes from carrying around things that God is willing to bear for us. When we are worn and weary, we have to let go and let God.

Someday I want to hear God say, "I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things." Revelation 2:19. I hope that each October I get a little better at finding my strength in God. Are you feeling a little tired and worn down? Running a little short on hope because you are exhausted"I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13.

Hang in there! The leaves may be falling, but that doesn't mean we have to!

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