God, persistence keep us going

By Joan Clayton: PNT columnist

Do you ever have a time when problems seem insurmountable? Is it a time when “quit” looks good?

Sometimes we grow weary in the fight. Our strength wanes, and our hope diminishes. The dark cloud of depression obscures our vision and steals our peace. “Joy,” the fruit of the Spirit, is hidden under our preoccupation with the problem at hand.

I have good news! God’s Word tells us in James 1:2: “Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.” (TLB)

Nothing great is going to happen in this life without persistence. Persistence compels us to get up, dust ourselves off and keep going. Falling down doesn’t make us failures … staying down does.

Be determined to stay in the winner’s circle. I heard someone say that bulldogs’ muzzles are short and flat so they can breathe while they bite and hang on. So let us be bulldog believers. Hang on until the trials pass.

The story of Jacob wrestling with God in Genesis 32 tells of Jacob’s persistence. Being persistent develops character in struggles.

So let’s not get down in the dumps. Press on. Endure. Try again. Fight back. Keep going. No matter how hard the struggle. Run to win.

Keep right on going. Set your face like a flint and plow right through. Jesus did not quit. Praise God He didn’t. He sacrificed for us.

In Psalm 91 are the many things God has promised, and I summarize them here.

He saves you and I from hidden traps.

He covers us with His feathers, and under His wings we hide.

His truth is our shield and protection, and we do not fear danger by night or an arrow by day.

At your side 1,000 people may die, or even 10,000 right beside you, but you will not be hurt.

The Lord is your security because you have made God the Most High your place of safety.

He has put his angels in charge of you to watch over you wherever you go. They will catch you in their hands so that you will not hit your foot on a rock.

“The Lord says, ‘Whoever loves me, I will save. I will protect those who know me. They will call to me, and I will answer them. I will be with them in trouble; I will rescue them and honor them. I will give them a long, full life, and they will see how I can save’” (Psalm 91:14-16 NCV).

I’ve been called “God’s Cheerleader.” My middle son calls me “The Preacher.”

To me those names are compliments. Please don’t tell me I’m a dreamer … a distorter of reality. I call it faith. Please don’t try to take persistence away from me … you can’t. It is as precious as gold.

We are winners! We are on our way to that “fair land” with persistence.

We will not put up, shut up or give up!

Get out of our way. We’re coming through. The Greater One lives in us.

Look out world … here we come. We’re persistent, and that’s the key.

I’ve read the last page.

Yea! We win!