If you are human, then at some point in your life you have probably asked the four words, “Is it worth it?”
Is this marriage worth it with all its difficulties?
Is this job worth it with all the stress?
Is this friendship worth it with all the drama?
Is this ministry worth it with all it takes out of me?
Is finishing school worth it with all the work involved?
Is this treatment worth it with all the side effects?
Is this life with chronic illness worth it if nothing ever changes for the better?
And it is when we are faced with those questions, that pain and fatigue scream at us a resounding, “NO!”
What do you do when you are in this situation?
When hurt feelings have you one more argument away from leaving for good?
When burnout and stress has you one step away from quitting your dream job?
When one more drama-filled conversation has you moments away from leaving the best friendship you ever had?
When the hardness of ministry causes you to consider walking away from the only thing you really ever wanted to do?
When exhaustion has you one heartbeat away from sinking inside yourself, rejecting all the things and people that could help?
When incredible amounts of pain have you thinking you can’t go on like this anymore, and maybe it would just be easier to end it all?
Living with pain and illness may have you questioning whether everything you always wanted is worth it anymore.
Here’s the hard truth: perseverance doesn’t always guarantee us desired results. (Nicki Koziarz, 5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit, Lifeway Press, 2016)
Perseverance may not always bring us the perfect marriage we always wanted, but it’s still important to respond with the love.
Perseverance may not always give us the desired results at our job, but it is still important to do our best.
Perseverance may not always give us drama-free friendships, but it’s still important to forgive.
Perseverance may not always give us a stress-free ministry, but it’s still important to make good choices.
Perseverance may not always give us a summa cum laude finish, but it’s still important to keep studying and finish well.
Perseverance in treatment may not make the illness go away, but it’s still important to trust in God.
While our hearts and bodies scream “QUIT,” God’s word encourages us in a different direction:
So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. (Galatians 6:9, NIV)
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13, NIV)
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:29-31, NIV)
5 Habits to Help You Persevere
While reality may be hard, an even truer reality is that God Himself will enable us to persevere. In her recently published book, 5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit, Nicki Koziarz shares with us five strategies we can incorporate into our lives that will help us keep on keeping on in the difficulty of life:
- Accept the assignment of refinement. We can choose to accept that the situation we are currently in is an opportunity for refinement. If we allow it to, it will refine our character and strengthen our souls. The other option is to become angry, which will eventually turn into bitterness and suck the joy and life out of our souls.
- Follow through despite how we feel. We must determine to make the right choices even though it is hard to do so. Situations may not always work out like we want them to, but if we continue to make the right choices, we can have peace in our minds in the midst of the hard circumstances.
- Stay open to the movement of God. If we keep our hearts open, we will see God move in the hard circumstances and work those hard things out for good in our lives. (Romans 8:28) It is not always easy to do this because it requires faith when we don’t yet see results. But that is what faith is—trust despite the inability to see how it will end. As we keep seeking Him, He will encourage and strengthen us through His Word.
- Give others what you need. This may be the hardest habit of all, because it is difficult to extend to others what we really need to be receiving from them (especially when we aren’t receiving those things from them). Again, this takes trust in a God who loves us and will provide for our needs when others do not. He is the One we ultimately can trust to take care of us.
- Move forward in faith. As we adopt these new habits, rely on the strength of God, and determine to live by faith, we can begin to move forward. Sometimes moving forward only means moving one step at a time, and sometimes moving forward means waiting or resting. But in the spiritual realm, we are still moving forward in our faith when we choose to trust and wait, as well as when we are putting one foot in front of the other. Regardless, as we rely on His strength, God will enable us to keep going. Remember, you only have to take the next right step. You will only make it over the mountain one step at a time, so don’t be overwhelmed by trying to tackle it all at once. As we make the next right choice, we will get there eventually, and one day, we will be able to look back on that mountain and know that, in God’s strength, we made it through.
When we need to truly persevere in tough situations, implementing these five habits will help us make it through the impossible. Which habit will help you the most as you face the mountain in front of you right now?
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Hi! My Name is Laurie, and I am a wife, mom, nurse, and patient living with fibromyalgia. I understand first-hand what life is like with chronic pain and illness. My passion is to help provide others with the spiritual encouragement and resources that I so desperately needed when I was first diagnosed. Please join us on the blog and Facebook page for regular encouragement and hope. Welcome!