It’s officially summer, yet it’s different, disappointing, and difficult in many ways. There are big issues like a persistent pandemic and tensions rising with the temperatures. Then there are “littler” everyday issues that seem like they shouldn’t be important, yet are to us. So how do we cope or even enjoy a different kind of summer? The secret is perseverance.
Often, little things frustrate yet big issues contribute underlying anxiety we may not even realize. Here’s an example…it’s summer and the things we typically look forward to are either cancelled, changed, or simply undecided. We think we should be able to take it in stride, but it still causes disappointment and frustration to bubble up. This is where a mindset shift and perseverance can help.
A Well Known, Elusive Secret
As Christians, we trust not in what we can do or control, but in the One who gives us our abilities and has complete control. This mindset shift is extremely important. It shifts our focus from ourselves to God. We do all we do not for us, but for Him. Our plans and frustrations can be let go and given to the One who can help. Worry and disappointment fade in His presence, but only if we persevere.
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. ~John 14:1 (NLT)
We read about trusting God in the Bible and hear it in worship, yet putting it into daily practice is difficult. It’s well known, yet elusive to those of us who like to control and plan. We want to trust in what we can see, predict, and plan. It’s more comfortable. But we aren’t called to a life of comfort. We are called to living for our Creator.
So then putting worries and frustrations into focus can be done when we realize our lives are His. Our worries, pain, grief, frustrations are also His. We can come to Him with our fear, doubt and questions; all of it can be given to Him. We lay it down and live for Him, not ourselves. We persist in prayer, living and loving like Jesus.
How to Persevere
But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing. ~James 1:25 (NRSV)
When troubled, frustrated, or simply worried, we have a choice. We can listen to the voice of doubt, fear, and anxiety which isn’t from God. Or we can simply listen to God. His voice is in His word, our hearts, and our minds if only we choose to hear it. Let’s not be “hearers who forget” but “doers who act” like James tells us. We’ll know His voice when we choose to listen.
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. ~John 10:27 (NLT)
Yet, listening and following isn’t a one time thing. It’s like anything else we want to do well. It takes persistence, practice, and yes, perseverance. The secret really is perseverance. So let’s open up our Bibles, worship, pray, live like Jesus, then repeat again and again. Let’s put God’s plan and Jesus’ voice into our hearts and minds. Let’s persevere by listening to the right voice.
This summer and our situations may not be what we hoped for, want, or even like. But we can accept what is, release our frustrations, and persevere. We do this not on our own, but through the grace and strength given to us by our Savior.
Let’s live and be doers of God’s will by listening and following Him, even in when we don’t know what to do or in less than desirable circumstances. Let’s understand the secret is perseverance and live our best lives in Christ!