Once you are at your place of service, there will most likely be a million and one reasons to give up. Getting anything done is going to take more time, energy, and effort; especially when you’re in a country that isn’t time sensitive like the West. The people may not be a nice and as appreciative as you though they would be. Spiritual forces are not happy to see you smiling face, and the list goes on and on.
Perserverance comes when you are willing to be uncomfortable and even to suffer in order to see something through. It comes when you have been tested by time and circumstance and have kept moving toward your goals. You may have thought about giving up a million times, but you didn’t give in. If you fall, you get back up and keep moving forward.
As humans, we will all get tired and weak at some point if whatever we are doing is taxing us. So, how do we keep pressing forward and perservering? I will mention just a couple of things that I think are important.
1. Waiting on the Lord-When we look to God as the source of our strength, we will have the supernatural ability to perservere. We will “run and not grow weary”, we will “walk and not faint” (see here). We also need to take time to rest and enjoy some down time every once in awhile. (here)
2. Expectation of Eventual Victory/Reward-The Scriptures tells us to not grow weary in well doing (see here and here). The temptation is always there to get tired to doing the right thing over and over again, but we have the promise that, eventually, we will reap if we don’t give up. What will we reap? The rewards of our labor.
We must remain diligent in whatever we are called to do, but we must also remember that missionary life is a marathon and not a sprint. We are called to overcome until the very end. We should not sacrifice everything for short term gain only to give out before we make it all the way through.
We need the encouragement, prayer, and practical support of other people who believe in us, realistic and country specific time lines for accomplishing our goals, faith that God will cause us to overcome and reap a harvest, and every once in awhile, a spur in our back side when we are tempted to lie down and quit.
Have you ever been tempted to quit something? How did you hang on and see it through? What have you found that has kept you going?