DON'T QUIT! by Theresa Noel // RC Children's Pastor
"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation." ~Romans 5:3-4 (NLT)
I am great at starting new things. I absolutely love to dream up and create new plans. I love the beginning steps into an exciting new routine. The rush of newness is exhilarating. I think about the benefits of the changes, the blessings that will come as a result of following through and I am overcome with a sense of purpose as I burst forth into a new adventure with full force.
However, at some point I usually realize that this new project is harder than I'd imagined. Or something gets in my way like sickness or financial hardship. Or maybe the newness of the experience wears away and I just don't feel motivated to press on with my plans. And so I give up, feeling like a failure and hoping no one was watching me too closely.
As I step into 2015 with the same hopeful plans for change, I am setting my heart on enduring the trials and problems that would normally cause me to quit. As I read Paul's words to the Christians in Rome, my resolve was strengthened. My usual reaction when I run into problems and trials in new endeavors is to give up. But if I quit, I rob myself of growth in endurance, strength of character, and hope.
I realize that Paul was speaking to the Romans about enduring trials and problems that would come because of faith in Christ, but I think it applies to other areas of life as well. When we endure problems and trials and keep pushing through instead of giving up, we develop endurance, strength of character, and hope. We become stronger, more confident, and more capable of changing ourselves for the better. If we can make changes in ourselves, we can then focus on making changes in the world around us.
Here are a few ways I am helping keep myself from quitting any new plans, including the Daniel Fast:
Researching ways others have been successful;
Partnering with others who are making the same or similar plans; and
Having people in my life who will keep me accountable by praying for me and asking me frequently how I am doing with it.
I pray that you will continue to endure in this fast and in all the plans you have for yourself in 2015.
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