As much as I don’t want to admit this, I’m concerned that I have a disturbing pattern in my life: leaving things half done :/
While I don’t leave everything half done, there are definitely things that I don’t finish, such as: not completing my bookshelf project, starting innumerable books but not finishing them, doing half of the ironing, writing part of a story, etc. Of course this could be very discouraging if I let myself quagmire in this awareness, but I have a fail-safe solution: God doesn’t quit!
In Philippians 1:6 it says, “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” Be encouraged that you’re a masterpiece in the making & the Holy Spirit is continuing to shape & grow you, never quitting, getting discouraged or giving up on you! God’s not finished!
I just finished taping the video curriculum for my book, Heavenly Help. This is noteworthy because I taped it the first time in August last year. That attempt was an exercise in frustration from start to finish. I was still recovering from a concussion that I suffered from a snowboarding accident, there were all kinds of technical difficulties, we had production challenges & it just wasn’t good. Today is an entirely different experience & heaps more effective!!
This encouraged me to remember the value of persistence & not giving up when I get discouraged. Be encouraged! Just because you try something & it doesn’t work, doesn’t mean you should automatically quit & give up. Some things require some persistence & trying again 🙂
I like progress, improvement and growing. I like being better today than I was a few months ago – and this is in every area of my life: physical health, intimacy with God, quality relationships, effectiveness with Saving Moses and LOTS more! I don’t like to be stagnant or stationary and I totaly LOATHE going backwards. So here are a few things I’m learning of late about progress:
sometimes progress is incremental and gradual rather than gigantic and massive
progress can happen in different contexts: doing PT with a recent shoulder surgery, I’m learning that progress happens in several ways (getting stronger, more flexible, getter ability to use, etc)
progress requires committment to change – if you don’t want to change, don’t expect to make progress
celebrate progress no matter the size or context: acknowledging progress breeds more progress
sometimes what seems like a step backwards is actually progress moving forward – don’t get discouraged
encourage others who are trying to get better
keep going: sometimes progress seems to be stagnant, but often these seasons of pause are nothing more than plateau set ups for greater progress if you’ll just keep going
progress requires truth; deception is the enemy of genuine growth & development 🙂
Sometimes I get frustrated with God, not so much because I’m not getting my way (that was a problem when I was younger), but moreso because of some struggles I have with God about faith & trust. As followers of Jesus, we know that we’re supposed to trust God & keep the faith, but sometimes this gets tricky. It’s in those “sometimes” that I can get frustrated and even mad with God because it can get really difficult and seemingly impossible. Maybe you’ve had some similar challenges in your walk with God pertaining to a health or relationship situation. Maybe you’ve struggled with God about some decisions or the direction you’re supposed to go with your career, education or family consideration.
The Bible is full of people who have been in some of the exact same situations with which we may be struggling. So here are some thoughts that can be helpful:
timing: sometimes God does last minute work that can be really unnerving – consider when Abraham was about to sacrifice Issac in Gen 22
bits and pieces: I often find that even though God knows the beginning & the end of stuff, we frequently find ourselves in the “need to know” zone, a little bit at a time and not the giant picture – consider Moses and the incremental nature of how God used him to liberate the Israelites from slavery in Egypt
honesty with commitment is important for intimacy: you can be honest with God about your frustrations without putting your entire relationship with God at risk – consider Job
endurance & persistance: the Apostle Paul comes to mind when I think about a biblical example of what endurance looks like, even finishing an extremely well run race with getting his head chopped off
community: the Bible is full of examples of people encouraging each other in staying obedient to & passionate for God – consider when Jonathon encouraged David about being the king of Israel in 1 Sam
God makes a way when there seems to be no way so be sure to share this with a friend to spread some encouragement! 🙂