Quitting Is Not an Option!
Lesson Objective: To discuss what is necessary when times get rough
Scripture: Proverbs 24:16
For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.
This journey called life is filled with obstacles that cause us to stumble and wonder if we are going to make it. So why is it that some people rise above the challenges and succeed while others give up and never make it to their dreams? While there may be many factors, I believe one of the major factors is hope and faith. Individuals who choose to give up before reaching their goals have allowed themselves to give up hope. When one gives up hope, this results in a loss of desire to continue because one cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. Faith and hope are intertwined as hope is in our mind but faith is in our hearts. It is said that no matter what you see on the outside, it is impossible to measure the heart of a man who is unwilling to quit. Quitting is not an option when faith is present. The light of hope never dims when it is fueled by faith. The question is not if but when will I succeed for I know that I will succeed and overcome any and all obstacles. This is the mindset that we must have every day.
Thought for the day: The tortoise won the race because it never gave up. Quitting was not an option
Why Do We Do What We Do?
Lesson Objective: To know the importance of understanding why we do what we do
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
One of the first questions that must be answered is why are we doing what we are doing. If we are unable to answer that question then we can never be successful in our endeavors. Sometimes I hear that people get burned out at work or a particular activity and the number one reason is that they forget why they did what they did or their motivation changed which then caused them to rethink why they do what they do. We must always evaluate our motives which leads to why we do what we do. Often times we hear the term mid-life crisis when at age 40-50 people begin to question why. This is usually because their original motive was self-centered and not driven by the desire to make a difference in the lives of others or to follow the voice of God when they made their original decision. I would suggest that we will never tire of following God by ensuring that our actions are aligned with the will of God. Persistence in the pursuit of God will always lead to ultimate success.
Thought for the day: The answer for why I do what I do is because I am following the will of God
Never Stop I say Never Stop
Lesson Objective: To discuss the little differences that can make a big difference
1 Chronicle 16:11
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!
If I could I would like to offer another translation of a word in the above scripture. I would prefer to use the word continuously rather than the word continually. Continuously describes an action that happens without ceasing. Continually, on the other hand, describes an action that recurs frequently or regularly. While many would say that there is little difference, I would like to suggest that while it may be perceived as little difference, the difference can be significantly spiritual. Let’s look at this example. The Bible says to pray without ceasing or in some translations pray continually. Therefore, If one prays 3 times a day every day they would by definition meet the conditions of praying continually. However, because there is a break in the action, they are not praying continuously for to do that would mean never stopping the action of praying, I think that the closer that we can get to praying continuously the closer we will get to God.
Thought for the day: As the water in the ocean never stops so should our yearning for God never stop.
Persistence of Job
Lesson Objective: To learn from the persistence of Job
Scripture: James 5:11
Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
As I was growing up. I would always hear people refer to Job as being patient. I heard the term patience of Job. I have read the story several times since then. Depending on the definition of patience, I would question the patience of Job. Job’s friends came to him and suggested that Job should seek forgiveness from God because he must have done something wrong that would cause tragedies in his life. Job’s wife even asked him to curse God and die. Job listened to all that they had to say but never once cursed God as his persistence in worshipping God never waivered. However, I question the idea that Job was patient as Job did not waiver in his belief in God but he did question God and wanted to know why these challenges had occurred. God never answered Job directly but asked Job a couple of questions which Job then replied, that he was wrong to question God. Job demonstrated persistence in his relationship with God. He showed that no matter the circumstances we must be steadfast in our worship of God and because of that persistence we will be blessed. In fact, Job was blessed double.
Thought for the day: No matter the circumstances, always hold on,
Growing Stronger Every Day
Lesson Objective: Persistence is maturity
Scripture: Romans 5:4
And endurance produces character, and character produces hope
Exercising is an interesting dilemma. One can only gain muscle strength by tearing down the muscle. When the muscle mass is torn down, the new replacement muscle mass is stronger. It is quite similar to roses. For roses to grow as they should they must be pruned. It is the same with us. In order for us to grow stronger in hope and faith we must face adversaries and be persistent in this battle. We must learn to face the easier battles so that we can be prepared for the more difficult battles. We are often defined by what we overcome. The ability to overcome makes character and each time we overcome gives us more confidence as we go forward. This confidence provides us the hope and faith that we will be able to overcome any challenges that we may face.
Thought for the day: See challenges as stepping stones to heaven (smile).