Monday, August 15, 2011

The value of staying put

Over the past few weeks Robin and I have had a few conversations with people that are basically bailing out in the face of circumstances.  Some of them aren't even facing what we would consider major trials.  But each of these individuals is seriously considering quitting, or taking the easy way out.

Robin and I do understand that hard times come... sometimes it's more like hard seasons.  Been there... done that!

But at the same time, we can't afford to just quit because times are tough.  There are incredible benefits to seeing something through to the end.  Persistence pays off!
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
1 Peter 5:10
Notice what it says... AFTER you have suffered a little while you'll end up strong, firm and steadfast.  Another translation says you'll be, "established and settled."  I believe this is why we have so many people that are unsettled in the face of trials and troubles.  They've never stuck it through to the end.

Look at what Paul told Timothy...
As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus...
1 Timothy 1:3
Paul wanted Timothy to stay there so he could straighten out problems that the Ephesians were dealing with.  But notice that the basic instruction is still the same: stay put!  Why?  Because it's so much easier to leave when things aren't going as we had thought/hoped/dreamed they would.  We seem to think a change of scenery will make the problem go away.  On the contrary, if we run from a problem, we'll see it again... different faces and situations, but the same old problem.

If we'll just stay the course and see it through to the end, we'll come out the other side stronger, established and settled. The Book of Hebrews tells us that it's by faith and PATIENCE that we inherit what God has promised us. This leads me to believe that if we're not patient, we won't see the full realization of God's dream for us and our lives.

God wants us to not just be good starters, but good finishers. Bill Hybels said recently, “How you finish is how you will always be remembered. Don’t end it with a whimper.” Let's be known as those that finish well!

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