Hardship and Perseverance

Hardship—it is a force of nature. It delights in creating problems.

Strife, Anxiety, Frustration and Fear are Hardship’s trusty fellows. They council each other and decide the best methods with which to attack the unsuspecting, the weak, the weary.

Hardship then descends onto the scene suddenly and without warning. Its sole purpose: to overwhelm to the point of certain disaster. It is most successful when the subject is completely thrown off guard. Surprise attack.

Yet there are times when the Hardship hits its own wall. When Perseverance stands guard—this is when the battle begins.

PERSEVERANCE
Steadfastness in doing something despite
difficulty or delay in achieving success.

Perseverance’s friends, Truth, Faith and Encouragement stand to each side…and Hardship is faced with its first difficult challenge: a sure loss, if Perseverance is allowed to prevail.

You see, Perseverance’s success is marked by the person it represents. If that person sees the battle cannot be won, and thus refuses to listen to Truth, Faith and Encouragement, then Anxiety, Frustration, Fear and Strife are able to rush in and take over. But if the person chooses to listen and take the first step toward Perseverance, then that is all the room needed for Hardship to be overthrown.

There is a Reward at stake. The Reward is worth it. It is strived for, fought for, cried for, yearned for. Whether it is a mighty dream or an unexpected mountain, the treasure that Reward represents, as a result of perseverance in the face of hardship, is beautiful. It is a place of Contentment, Peace and Joy.

Perseverance is well-equipped to fight the great fight against Hardship and is able to prevail at all costs. Because the prize is worth the battle. And the prize was promised from the beginning. It has been assured. It has been won.

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Perseverance wins neither easily nor swiftly, but with great deliberation. It is only by the person’s choice that Perseverance is allowed to win.

Note: the use of the word, “allowed.” Perseverance was always created to win. But Hardship is a devious and devout liar, trying to stifle whatever forward progress is made through the aid of Perseverance. Yet with the help of Truth, Faith and Encouragement, Hardship is guaranteed to be pushed back—step by step—until it can stand no more. This is a Reward in itself.

When affronted by Hardship’s deception, each person must choose to allow Perseverance to win the battle with Truth at their side, trusting their Maker to make all things clear one day.

This promise is for all mankind.

Perseverance

Photos from Pinterest.

The Chase Is On!

“Don’t let the worries of tomorrow chase you through today.
Just do what I’ve told you to do TODAY.”

Cambodia

You know those things the Lord whispers into your heart...that sink deep into your soul? Yeah, those were His words to me this morning.

Oh how my mind can run in so many different directions!
It leaps and bounds this way, then that way.
It stops for a second, as if to catch its breath…than rebounds with increased frequency.

No wonder I am so tired by the end of the day. My thoughts twirl endlessly inside my skull, bouncing and spinning and running over each other until I don’t know which way is up anymore.

Talk about a big headache.

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…do not fret—it leads only to evil.” -excerpts from Psalm 37:7-8

DSC02856 - Version 2I have a love/hate relationship with being still. I yearn for it when I’m in the middle of crazy. Yet when I finally get there, I find myself wanting to find a distraction because I know I have deal with myself and come before God to apologize for not trusting him, again.

Stillness brings focus. Suddenly the stuff I’m worrying about
(aka “not trusting Jesus about”) I am more able to lay at His feet.

My brain is on overdrive and it cries for rest. It needs to peace of its Creator. We weren’t meant to deal with stress. Our bodies protest. Things like pain and sickness and exhaustion all are a result of stress.

Stress doesn’t trust the Lord. Stress strives.

The perfectionist in me comes out this time of year. I want to be intentional. I want to get the right gifts. I miss my friends because I’ve been so busy these past 6 months with travel and settling into work, and at the same time I want to spend all the time with family that I can, because in the coming years, being together will look much different.

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I’ll be honest. It’s just a very weird season.
God never stops changing us, and I love that about Him.

I think I didn’t expect this to be so hard. It’s starting to sink in, the fact that my parents are leaving.
I’ll blog more about that later, so stay tuned.

God has been whispering to my soul.

Grace. Rest. Peace.

I need to accept the fact that rest is okay. This season is okay. I need to have grace for myself, too. I’m not going to let my worries chase me. Instead, let’s chase the worries back with grace.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

As I am constantly reminded of this Christmas season, “Let it GO!”

I’m with the King

So this afternoon I sat down with my Bible and a cup of coffee…it’s been a long few weeks and I just needed some time to myself. It’s raining outside, and sometimes these are the perfect days for rest. I felt like this time was just for me and God, and I really wanted it to be. I haven’t been doing a super great job at spending time with Him lately…so I just knew I needed some time to sit with Him, read His Word, and relax and soak Him in. Sometimes things that you’ve read over and over pop out at you differently all of the sudden, and today was one of those times.

I decided to read Romans 8. I won’t go into a ton of detail, but it was cool. 🙂

One thing that really stood out to me was where it says that through the Holy Spirit we are sons of God, “And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.'” That’s like little kids running up to their fathers and saying, “Daddy! Daddy!” God wants that kind of relationship with us (I’ve been hearing this over and over lately, so that really resonated with me). But then it goes on to talk about us being co-heirs with Christ Jesus. Jesus is God’s son, and through Jesus’ death on the cross, when He defeated sin and rose from the dead in victory (can I get an Amen!), that in that moment, when we accept that gift, we become sons and daughters of God, beloved brothers and sisters to Christ, and become God’s heirs. WHOA baby. Hold up a sec…say whaaaa…? That’s incredible.

So then I was just sitting there and soaking that in. The idea ran around my head for a bit…Jesus as my big brother, the big brother I never had. The one to tell me that I am beautiful and cherished and that He loves me and will protect me like any good big brother would his little sister.

I like that idea…it makes me smile. 🙂

Then something popped into my head. A vision, a thought, a whisper from my Savior – a story, a dream, a poem of sorts. I wrote it into my journal and felt like I also needed to share it with you.

Here goes.

[Him]
Every part of you is mine.
You are perfect – made in My image.
You are the daughter of the King,
beloved sister and co-heir with Christ.
You enrapture me with your beauty.
You can walk confidently into any room,
knowing I am beside you, walking with you.
Always with you.
I’ll never leave you.

Then this came.

[Me]
I walk into a room full of people dressed in finery, and I instantly feel unworthy to be there.
I don’t fit in.
“I’m with the King,” I tell those who ask, which should boost my confidence,
but the more people ask, the more I question whether I should be there at all.
I’m not worthy. I don’t fit in. My dress isn’t pretty enough.
Then it happens.
The dancing begins.
But they won’t let me into the ballroom, because no one believes me and the King is nowhere to be seen.
I’m blocked from going inside, and I begin to doubt everything about myself.
Who am I to think I’m worthy of love and forgiveness?
I stand in front of the doors to the ballroom, confused, ashamed, and alone.
The guards ask me to move aside, and that’s when I feel His hand slip into mine
and the other fit tenderly around my waist.
“No, let her through,” he says tenderly, His eyes locked onto mine,
His beautiful face smiling in delight that I am here. His presence and command over the room is so immediate that everything and everyone stops and stares in amazement
as He takes my hand and says, “She’s with me.”
His gaze captivates me, my feet float on air as I follow Him onto the dance floor.
Nothing else matters but Him now.
“I’m so glad you came,” He says. “You are stunning. You are perfect.”
As He holds me close on the dance floor, His eyes sparkle and He flashes a grin.
“And best of all, you’re mine!” His smile grows bigger as he says,
“You’re beautiful, beloved. I am the King and I love you. I have redeemed you.
Be bold and confident in that, beloved. I am always with you.”
I can’t speak, so I nod and put my head to His chest, no words needed, and together, we dance.

 

From jesseischens.theworldrace.org

The song below fits this perfectly. “I Love the King” by Beth Croft.

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