Perseverance

Hebrews 4: 14-16
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need”.

I don’t know about you guys, but this verse really hits home for me today. Lately, I’ve been feeling a real lack of motivation to do some difficult things, mainly all my writing. It’s so easy for me to get distracted, which leads to discouragement. Honestly, writing isn’t my favorite activity and it’s hard enough to convince myself to sit still for 5+ hours, let alone do serious academic work. So when I fail, I am tempted to despair. I question all sorts of crazy things that may be correlated, like career/grad school/personal life stuff/etc. When I struggle in life, I am tempted to throw in the towel and react in completely inappropriate ways.

Obviously, this kind of a reaction is sin. You see, when I am tempted to despair, I forget the strength provided to me through Christ. The promises in the Gospel completely leave my mind, leaving me to rely on my own fortitude (which isn’t much to speak of). As a Christian, I am called to persevere. I am called to struggle, to make war with my sinful self. This conflict comes in a myriad of different ways, based on the individual and their place in life. Sometimes, I fight my flesh. Other times, I fight my mind, my intellect. This doesn’t mean that I dumb myself down, but I “renew my mind” like it says in Romans 12:2. For my struggle at the present moment, it’s a matter of having self-control to do the task at hand and to do it well.

As many of you know, I have a Twitter account and use it frequently. I also happen to follow John Piper, who has some amazing quips. It’s seriously amazing what you can do in 140 characters or less. But a few weeks ago, he tweeted:
Lord, tell me when to get up off my knees and work. (Exodus 14:15)
And let me tell you… that really hit home for me. I am called to work, to struggle, to strive in this life. It doesn’t matter if it’s writing a paper, working hard at a job, or fighting sin that I see in my life. But do you know what’s really cool about this? Jesus can sympathize with our weaknesses, because he had a human body. Although he was without sin, he still felt tired, frustrated, etc. Knowing that Christ overcame these same feelings spurs me on to do my work well and unto the Lord. It gives new meaning to the verse “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

So with that… I’ve got a lot of writing to do!

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