At the end of your life, what will you look back to see? Will you live your life plunging into possibility? Or will you look back at what could have been, and see a mystery?
This post was written by an August freshman named Chelsey Hoffmeister.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
So often in my life I give up too soon. If the prospects aren’t looking too promising, if I run into roadblocks, it’s so easy to just throw my hands up and say, “Forget it, I’ll do something else.” We live in the land of opportunity, right? Why would we go through the trouble of persevering in order to get what we want when we have something else just as good waiting for us around the corner? If I really wanted to, I could just coast through this life and still remain fairly comfortable – go to a community college and pass my classes with Cs and Ds, maybe work in a restaurant and make enough money to cover the essentials, get a credit card so I can get out and have some fun every once and awhile. You know, the typical college student thing. I could spend the rest of my life trying to find the easiest way out of everything, but what does that accomplish, really? Would I honestly be satisfied at the end of my life if I looked back and realized that every time something hard came up, I decided to just change courses? Take the path of least resistance?
Now, stop for a moment and bring to mind a few people in history who have made a significant impact on our world – artists, philosophers, inventors, religious leaders, politicians. I promise you that if those people had decided to just give up at the first sign of hardship, there would be no such thing as the light bulb or modern medicine. Just think where we’d be right now if Jesus had given up when things started getting difficult for him! James 1:2-12 says that “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God promised to those who love him…Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything.”
Here in America, we have become comfortably complacent, simply because we can. But I challenge you to take five minutes out of your day today to stop and seriously think about what things in your life you’ve been content to let coast. It could be school, relationships, time spent with God, that anger problem you’ve been struggling with. It’s different for all of us, but God makes it pretty clear that whenever we face trials, he wants us to keep trying to push through and not back down. When you’re having a hard time persevering, just remember where your strength comes from – the Most High God – and be comforted that you’re not alone in this.
Other verses to check out:
2 Peter 1:5-9
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
2 Thessaonians 1:3-5