Will things ever go right? Will it get better? Does this end? Why doesn’t it just work out? We can find ourselves spiraling when we are discouraged. When we have given it our best and it still is a failure, we wonder why we should even bother. When we have tried to eat healthy and don’t lose the weight we thought, it can bring us down. When we make a lifestyle change to improve our overall health but find we are having such a difficult time adapting, the old lifestyle seems to call our name. When we are striving to be loving and feel attacked at every turn, it can feel defeating. When we become discouraged, even when doing good, we feel like just giving up. But that is the time to continue, to press forward, to keep moving on.
Changing anything in life is really difficult. Leaving behind an old lifestyle is uncomfortable. Eating healthier and exercising is okay at first but takes a lot of effort to continue. Loving others as Jesus taught is fine when we are around people we already love or tolerate, but much more difficult when faced with adversity on a regular basis.
The more we continue, the stronger we become. We are building a strong base. We are gaining endurance and finding consistency. We are learning what it takes to not give in or give up. We are being prepared to live the life we were created to live. When I think of this, I think of Romans 5. It is an easier scripture to read than it is to put into practice. But for me, it describes an important building process. It helps me to understand that there is something more. I am encouraged that I am being shaped and formed to be more like Christ. This adversity is a training ground. When I continue on, I am building up. The scripture tells us that difficulties produce endurance. This is the keep on keeping on persistence that we need. This persistence is producing character in us. And that character is giving us hope. It is not an easy path, but one worth taking. God is creating something special in us. We are being made for so much more.
So if you find yourself discouraged this morning, look up. Continue to do the right thing. Continue to move forward in God’s word. Keep on keeping on. There is a plan at work and it is good.
3 And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
Photos included in Devotions are captured by David Cain – The Cain Gallery. Photos are available for sale by contacting The Cain Gallery