Just in case you were wondering, you've still got it! You are not benched. You are not disqualified. You have not been eliminated. You are very much still in the game!
"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns."Philippians 1:6 (NLT)
Here Paul is telling the church of Philippi that God was still at work in them, even if they didn't feel like He was. I can only imagine that they must have felt a little defeated. Maybe they felt like they had strayed too far from God's will and feared they might not find their way back. Are you familiar with the temptation to give up? Sometimes the thought of throwing in the towel and walking away seems like a practical solution. It's easier than persevering through the pain and sticking with it when it's difficult. But, what comes easy usually doesn't last and what lasts usually doesn't come easy. The men and women of the Bible prove this though scripture. All the "greats" faced a great temptation to give up.
When we don't feel like what we have to offer is enough, it can be very disheartening. Isn't it funny how we can convince ourselves that the things God has placed in us won't sustain us? We forget He's cultivating and developing. That's not always a fun process, but what emerges is irreplaceable. I don't know about you, but I often want the talent without the responsibility of the tenacity it takes to steward it. Talent can be measured, but tenacity must be developed.The Lord is gracious to test us, to make us endure with a listening ear. Will we stay when we'd rather go? Will we listen to God when our ears are trained to the voices in our head? Will we allow Him to develop character when we feel like we're losing? You see, winning isn't the opposite of failure. Winning is failing and not allowing it to define us. And we can't win if we drop out of the race.
We are a work of progress, not perfection. We can't undo God's plan for our life and we can't erase His purpose. We can, however, resist it. Complaining, pity parties and doubt are all allowed (though not recommended) in the God-sized dreams we chase, but they won't help us stay on point. They make us forget why we started in the first place.
Here's a declaration to help us remember our why. May it help us to keep going and remind us we have no other choice.
As children of God, we are unbound by the need to be perfect and have all the answers because in our weakness, He is strong. (2 Corinth. 12:10)
In Christ, we are chosen, holy and blameless, adopted, blessed, forgiven, redeemed and guaranteed and inheritance, born out of love. (Ephesians 1)
We are content in every situation, full of grace, hope and humility. (Phil. 4:11)
We are not set aside, we are set apart (Jeremiah 1:5). And He will make us beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We will not be afraid. We will not be silent. We will keep on speaking of His goodness, for our God remains faithful (2 Tim 2:13). He is steadfast, dependable and constant (Psalm 136). He is our strength and our shield and in Him our hearts trust, (Psalm 28:7) for the Lord will fulfill His purpose for us (Psalm 138:8)....if we do not give up.