How to Persevere in Life

Every once in a while we have those brave moments when we openly share our struggles with others because we are so very desperate to overcome.

I shared previously about my fat girl insecurities, and then again earlier this year about setting some personal goals for myself, especially learning how to persevere in this weight loss journey (this isn’t a post just about weight loss, so hang in there).

Yesterday I stepped on the scale for a weight check, hopeful yet worried. I haven’t been able to work out consistently for the last few weeks because a summer cold flared up my asthma. So, I wasn’t really sure what to expect.

After taking a deep breath, I looked down to see The Number.

And promptly burst into tears.

How to Persevere in Life, overcoming, weight loss journey, facing discouragement, persevere in spite of obstacles, how to persevere in weight loss, how to be an overcomer

It’s not quite what you might be imagining because these were happy tears, thankful tears.  Tears that meant I really could persevere at this weight loss journey in spite of frequent obstacles.

The Number was the one I had been waiting on, the one that put me under a major weight-loss marker, the one that more than solidified my twenty-plus pound loss thus far.

Seeing that number provided positive proof that the lies I used to believe were just that – lies meant to keep me enslaved.

So when I saw the Number my heart just filled up to overflowing with gratitude. I was grateful for a God who never gives up on me, one who continues to work in my life to free me from myself and my own sin.

See, it’s really not just about the weight for me. It’s about knowing my Father is looking out for me, helping me along the way.  It’s about believing that I can persevere because He’ll help me!

I can lose weight.

I can choose to eat healthy foods.

I can live a healthy lifestyle.

I can get back on track over and over again, after obstacles get in my way.

I can do all of this and more, not by own might, but by the strength that comes from abiding in my Father God.

I can persevere.

How to Persevere in Life

Yes, remember that word from earlier this year that I didn’t really want?  Well, the Father is showing me in a multitude of ways that I can persevere despite incredible difficulty. I know how to persevere because of the power of Christ in me.

Even more, I can persevere because of His faithfulness.

The best part is that all of those things are true for you, too, my sisters in Christ.  If you have that personal relationship with Christ, then you have the power of Christ in you to finish your race well.

Recent world events might have you fearing for the future.

Life circumstances may be weighing you down.

A loved one may have betrayed you in the worst possible way.

Your family may be struggling just to survive.

But it doesn’t have to remain that way, friends.

We are capable of living victoriously even in the darkest of times because of the great Hope we have in an All-powerful God.  

It’s a Hope that never fails, a Hope that remains steadfast and true.

A Hope that tells us we are not alone.

We can learn how to persevere by saying “I can because He did.”

How Persevering Leads to Overcoming

Earlier this year, I wanted a word that sounded a little less like hard work and a little more like a mountaintop experience. To me the word persevere meant “get ready because more trials are coming down the line!”  But to my Lord and Savior it meant, “get ready to see the work I’m doing in you and wait hopefully for victory!”

I failed to realize then how close the connection is between persevering and living the victorious life because truly, one leads to the other!  When we learn how to persevere, we are learning to live in victory, to claim our very own Promised Land right here on Earth.

When we persevere, we develop the character we need to be the overcomer God meant us to be from the very beginning!

When God asks us to persevere in a life situation, it can sometimes feel like we're being sentenced to suffer.  However, according to scripture, persevering has some pretty fantastic benefits!  persevere in life, persevere in hard times, bible verses about persevering, persevering in faith, christian persevering

Listen to what the Scripture has to say about persevering, friends!

“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;  and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”                              Rom. 5:3-5 (NASB)

Are you low-down and desperate for real hope today, friends? Are you stuck on a plateau, believing the lie that you’ll never find your way forward?  Have you wasted so many years that changing now seems downright impossible?

Read it again. “[H]ope does not disappoint.”  Hope is never wasted, no matter what the enemy tells you.

Lift your head and see the Hope before you.

Persevere and watch His mighty hand at work!

Jen :)

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Sharing with: Make Your Home Sing Mondays, Tell it To Me TuesdaysTell His Story, A Little R and R,  WholeHearted WednesdayGrace and Truth, Faith Filled Friday, Saturday Soiree and Social Media Share

 

The Relief of the Fitbit Buzz

Relief – a de-burdening of sorts. A happiness that follows difficulty or worry.

I know it sounds silly, but this weight loss journey has been no easy thing thus far. The bad thing about that is it makes me want to give up – yes, already I want to give up some days.  The good thing about wanting to give up and knowing that I cannot, I just cannot, is that it draws me nearer to the Lord.

It’s no small thing that His word for me this year is persevere. Because lately every single day when it’s time to go for a walk, I have to push through this mental block.

I just don’t want to go for a walk today. My knees hurt, so I should rest. I don’t feel like it because I’m so tired. Maybe I can skip today and just work harder tomorrow. 

The thing is, I know that if I make excuses for one too many days, I’ll have fallen off of the healthy wagon again. And I can’t fall off again, at least not for good. This is the year, friends, that I persevere, that I rely on the Lord and His power to carry me through, no. matter. what.

There is no giving up this time around. 

And on most days when I’m walking harder and longer not because I want to, but because I need to, I’m just waiting. I’m waiting for my Fitbit (read “really cool pedometer”) to buzz.
I’m waiting for that sweet relief that says I’ve made it. I met my step goal for the day. I persevered through those 2 miles or 3 miles, or whatever mileage it takes to get me to that point.

It’s a relief.

And even though it seems silly, it means something to me!

I’m ten pounds in now, with a long, long way to go. But I’m learning more and more that He’s with me each step of the way. He provides the strength. He provides the nudge to get up and move. He provides the encouragement. He provides the will to persevere.

Relief of the Fitbit Buzz, follow me, persevere, weight-loss journey

And I just follow. It’s what we were born to do, really.

For His glory!

Jen :)

I’m joining my Five Minute Friday friends again this week (albeit a day late!). We gather at Kate’s place and free-write for five minutes with no planning, no over-thinking, no editing – just words. Come join us if you like!

Also sharing with: Grace and Truth

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A New Perspective on Setbacks

Yesterday, as I drove home from a good workout, I was feeling so thankful for some progress in regaining strength after my recent extended illness. I was also proud of myself for exercising every day of the week so far.  I felt joy and hope like I haven’t felt for weeks!

Victory was mine!

Just as I reached our back door, I slipped on some ice, fell forward, and banged my knees hard on the cement step.  Fear gripped my heart as I relived the tail-bone-breaking incident of what we now call Buttkill Falls.

I feared a major setback.

Eyes watering, I picked myself up and took a few tentative steps. My right knee hurt the worst, but I could still walk.  It was scraped and already bruising. As I limped into the house, the internal monologue began…

Just like Adam and Eve, the original sinners, I wanted someone to blame, and my husband was the first victim.

I can’t believe he didn’t clear off this walk all the way!  Doesn’t he know that’s not safe?! What if one of the kids fell….

But I didn’t stop there. Like the Israelites in the wilderness, free from the wrath of Egypt yet still not content, I began to question the Lord Himself.

Why, Lord? Are you really going to allow me to be injured again just when I’ve found a good rhythm with my health goals?  Why am I being punished for doing what is right? I’ve worked so hard. Why didn’t you help me, keep me from falling?

Exodus 17:2-3

So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.”

Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?

But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?” (empahsis mine)

As soon as the prideful thoughts entered my mind, I knew I was wrong – wrong to blame my husband, even more so, wrong to blame my Father God.  And wrong to think that my “good efforts” excused me from any sort of pain or suffering.

So you're facing a setback, and you fear things will never change for you.  And that might just be true if you let a failure stop you in your tracks. But if you want to persevere, you might need a new perspective on setbacks and what they mean. How to Have a New Perspective on Setbacks from Being Confident of This blog

You see, fear took over for a few moments.

I was afraid that another injury would keep me from meeting my health goals. I was afraid that another setback might discourage me to the point of giving up – a pattern that has repeated itself over and over again where my health is concerned.

I was afraid of failing.

I was afraid I would not be able to persevere!

Conviction stung my heart for such sinful thoughts, for my desire to lash out at someone else in my frustration.  “I just want God to help me,” I tried to reason within myself.

But perhaps He already had…

Maybe His best help was to allow me to fall.

Yes, I mean it, truly. While it’s not wrong to be excited about the my progress, the Father gently showed me that, once again,  I was beginning to rely on self alone rather than Him.

Perhaps I needed that fall to remind me that I will only conquer this battle with health and weight by His power and strength. I cannot do it on my own. Without even realizing it, I had slowly slipped back into my “can-do” attitude.

I can do it.

I’ve got this.

I don’t need You right now…

Does it sound familiar, friends? How many times a day do we catch ourselves relying on our own efforts instead of Him?

How many times do we deny the power of Christ in us, in favor of our own human strength?

How often do we place our trust in self alone?

You think I would have learned the lesson by now. He’s only been trying to teach me for the last thirty-plus years!  It’s that work-in-progress that I’m always talking about – aiming toward progress instead of perfection.

I’ll make mistakes.

You’ll make mistakes, too, friends.

Sometimes the setback is a wake-up call to our own sin.

And often the best help our Father God can offer is letting us fall, just as we have to allow our own children to fall at times.  It’s the most difficult, yet most loving thing we can do as parents, yes?

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2 Corinthians 12:9

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.

He lets us fall so that we might see our need, so that we might throw off self and run to His arms instead!

He lets us fall because He loves us too much not to.

It’s the best help He can give –

helping us turn from self to Savior!

Jen :)

Side note: My knees seem to be okay, Praise the Lord! One is a little swollen and bruised, but so far only injured externally, from what I can tell. I’m incredibly thankful for His mercy.

Sharing with: Grace and Truth

It Will Be Worth It All

Last week we took our four-year-old twins to a doctor’s appointment for a check-up. Our daughter was excited, but fairly calm. Our son, on the other hand, demonstrated a major case of ants-in-the-pants! He combed over every inch of that examination room, up on the table, down on the floor, inspecting every nook and cranny.

By the time the physician’s assistant arrived, I was feeling quite flustered.

Then, because it was our first appointment at this office, she began to ask a battery of questions that required actual thinking, which is really hard to do when you are also trying to keep your rambunctious boy from destroying the room!

When we see Jesus, encouragement, hope

 

It’s not the first time I’ve felt such frustration with my sweet son.

Homeschooling for pre-K gives birth to those same feelings of frustration and inadequacy because our son is a very easily distracted learner (typical for his age)!  Even throughout the day, when I’m trying to get his attention or correct his behavior, he pulls away from me, eager for the lesson to be over so that he can move on to better things.

twins fall, hope, faith

I know he’s just being a four-year-old, caught up in his own little world of fun and furious activity.

I just didn’t realize how like him I am, until recently.

I wrote several weeks ago about waiting on the Lord in the midst of seasons of trial and about finding that light at the end of the tunnel, the hope we can only find in Him and in His purposes.  But I must admit, sisters, that I’ve been so eager for the lesson to be over, to escape the trial and get on with what I want to do, that I’ve been an impatient learner.

I keep jumping up from the Father’s feet, scurrying away from this place of discomfort in an attempt to find my own way to peace and joy and rest, thinking that I’ve learned my lesson.

But He knows, He knows the hard work isn’t finished.  He knows the lessons I still need to learn, so He patiently calls to me. And when I don’t listen, He leads me back to this place of physical and emotional trial to resume the lesson because…it’s what is best for me, even if I can’t see it in this moment.

He does this for me because He’s my Heavenly Father, perfectly loving and perfectly knowledgeable.

He loves me too much to let me continue down my own path when He knows there is a better way.

Just as I attempt to reason with and teach my active four-year-old son out of love for him, so my Heavenly Father yearns to teach me.

Of course, Satan would have me believe a host of lies about this place of trial:

It’s too painful.

It’s too difficult.

It’s too long.

It’s unfair.

I’m all alone.

But this week, the Lord gave me a few verses that perfectly fit my current circumstances:

2 Cor. 4:16-18

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God,

you will receive what he has promised.”  Hebrews 10:35-36

We throw away our confidence, my work-in-progress friends, when we give ear to the Enemy’s lies.

We throw our confidence when we (and I’m so guilty) wallow in self-pity.  We throw away our confidence when we tell ourselves we can endure no longer.

We forget that we serve a loving Savior.

We forget that He promises to never leave nor forsake us.

We forget that our Great High Priest understands and sympathizes with our every pain!

We forget that He has plans to prosper us and not to harm us.  We forget that our hope and strength can come from Him alone and instead convince ourselves that we must somehow manufacture them within us. 

We throw away our confidence and sometimes the weight is so heavy, so, so heavy that we even lose heart.

But the Father, in His goodness, gave me this verse as well:

 “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying,

yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory

far beyond all comparison,

 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen;

for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

2 Cor. 4:16-18

My physical body is really frustrating me  lately.  I’m dealing with a lengthy recovery (from the injury at Buttkill Falls), and lately I’ve had other medical issues as well.  And I know many, many others who suffer daily even more so than I.  But the lesson is hard right now, sisters, so hard that I’m tempted to throw away my confidence almost daily.

But we can’t lose heart or the lesson will not be learned! (And this is one I definitely don’t want to have to repeat!) :)

Our bodies may fail us; our children may fail us; our marriages may fail us; our finances may fail us; our churches may fail us; even our friends may fail us….but our inner selves can be renewed day by day if only we quit looking for escape.  

We cannot pull away like impatient children who are too wrapped up in self to listen.  We must learn to wait for the things that are not seen, the rewards, the promises that we stand upon.  We must persevere!

Because even if the only thing we gain as reward from such trials is a closer, sweeter walk with Him, then it’s worth it, isn’t it?  Even if we must wait until eternity to receive the reward, it’s worth it, isn’t it?  He promises, the glory will be “far beyond all comparison.”

I want it, don’t you?

It will be worth it all when we see Jesus,

Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ;

One glimpse of His dear face all sorrow will erase,

So bravely run the race till we see Christ. 

Let’s run bravely, sisters, not losing heart, not throwing away our confidence, persevering to the very end because it will be worth it all

…when we see Jesus.

Jen :)