Have you thought about throwing in the towel, giving up out of frustration, recently? These thoughts often come to us in times of challenge and we think we can’t go on, we can’t persevere to the end, and we’ll never make it to our goal.
I’ve had these thoughts myself as I reflect on the distance ahead of me to my goal in achieving my bachelor’s degree. I have a bit of a respite between courses and looking into the future I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. It’s not the light of an oncoming train but the light of the victory that is awaiting me as I press on to finish my goal. During this time I have reflected on some points that I would like to present to you that will encourage you to continue to press on, to pursue that goal that you once dreamed of attaining.
Re-visit the vision!
Proverbs 29:18 NKJV Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;…
What revelation or vision do you have that has motivated you to press forward? Have you lost sight of that original goal? Go back and re-visit it! Get a picture in your mind of achieving the goal, of winning the fight and gaining the victory. God said the people who lost sight of the vision cast off restraint; they start doing whatever feels good because they have no structure or set plan to achieve their goals. Begin to dream again and see yourself winning the fight. See yourself in the winner’s circle, sitting on the victor’s throne! You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you! God’s word says in Romans 8:37 “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” In what things? The challenges of life, the things that try to separate us from His love and purpose for our lives. He has already deemed us as winners! Now walk it out….re-visit the vision!
Re-calculate the cost!
Luke 14:28-30 NKJV “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it–”lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, “saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’”
I prayed with a lady recently who was discouraged in finishing her vision. She was so close to the end and the heat of the battle had gotten intense. It was at this time that she needed to reflect on the cost of finishing verses the cost of what she had already spent, both financially and in the emotional and intellectual realm. Is giving up worth the cost of what you have already achieved? Or would the cost of finishing be less that the cost of the time and money you’ve already put into the effort to get this far? Jesus was faced with weighing the cost of going to the cross to save mankind verses giving in to his fleshly desires to save Himself from the pain of the cross. Hebrews 12:2 says that He pressed on past the cross because of the joy that was set before Him. He set His face like flint and pressed on even in the midst of intense suffering, pain and shame so He could achieve the goal of the vision and purpose of God for His life and as a result you and I can have the joy of life eternal spent in the presence of God because the price that He paid redeemed us from the sin of mankind and gave us a place in eternity forever sealed in Him. Re-calculate the cost! It’s worth your effort!
Re-new the mind!
Romans 12:2 NKJV And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
What do you need to think on to renew your mind? Well, God’s word tells us in Philippians 4:8 that it is the good things of life that we are to focus on; the things that are noble, just, pure, lovely and of good report. Negative thoughts will hinder your growth! Positive thinking reinforces the vision. You have an enemy that Jesus said in John 10:10 only comes to steal, kill and destroy your life. That is the devil’s purpose and plan for every person’s life because he hates people who are made in the image and likeness of God. But Jesus said in that same verse that He came to give us life and that more abundantly! We become what we think about ourselves. If our thoughts are negative and defeating we will become a negative, defeated person. But if our thoughts are positive and filled with God’s thoughts of us we will see ourselves as winners, overcomers, people of destiny with a God-given purpose who are empowered by the Spirit of God to do extraordinary things! God’s viewpoint of us is one of victory and empowerment! Renew your mind to the truth of God’s word and shut out the voice of the enemy who brings discouragement and defeat!
Re-focus the efforts!
Hebrews 10:35-36 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward, For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.
It may seem that the climb is too steep to make it to the top, but when you re-focus your energy to do what is right to achieve the desired results you will find that God is there to help you gain the victory and arrive at your goal right on time! All of us can look into the past and see things that we wish we would have done differently and yet we can’t go back and change those things. But we do have control over the choices that we make today that will result in the quality of life that we experience in our tomorrows. I remember when I was going into the prisons ministering the word of God to those who were incarcerated and would tell them that the choices they make today would determine the quality of their tomorrows! They could very definitely relate to that statement because they could see how the choices they had made in the past had determined their place in prison and how it was affecting the quality of life they were living. No matter how difficult life seems we all have a responsibility to our quality of life to make choices that reflect the positive outcome we desire to see. No one can be blamed for your decisions but yourself. Likewise, no one can make the choices and effort for success that you want but you! When life seems to be all up hill look at where you’ve come from and the progress you’ve made!
The climb is worth the effort! The victory is worth the cost that you put into it! Don’t give up before you reach the top! Re-focus your efforts! You can’t fully embrace what God has for you in the future if you are constantly re-visiting the pain and disappointment of your past. Look forward and see yourself living out the good plan that God has for you!
Father, I thank you for the good plan that You have for each of our lives. I pray this morning for those who may be discouraged at where they are in life and are struggling to find the motivation to continue to press in to reach their goals. I ask that You would give them a renewed vision and help them to refocus their efforts to reach their destination. Father, I thank You for the presence of Your Spirit to lead, guide and empower us to win over life’s challenges. Thank You for Your Word that when taken into our spirits gives us change in our hearts and lives and shows us the way You think and feel about us as Your children. Help us to depend on You and trust You for the strength that we need to continue on in the challenges of life.
I pray also for those who don’t know You, who have never made Jesus the Lord and Savior of their lives. Father, Your plan and purpose for them is that they might come to the saving knowledge of Jesus. I pray that today would be that day of salvation for them, that they might choose to invite Jesus into their hearts so they can walk through this life and into eternity with a secure position in Christ Jesus that gives them a place in God’s presence for all of eternity. Father, Your word says that You are not willing that any should perish but that all would come to salvation. You have done your part in giving Jesus to die for the sin of mankind, but they have a part in choosing to receive that salvation that gives them a destiny secure in heaven with You. I pray that all will receive today and be born again into life eternal in Christ Jesus.
Thank You, Father, for giving renewed hope to those who need encouragement today. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.