There are so many distractions which sap this aspect of our character. Our eyes become mis-focused on results or roadblocks, and our diligent work grinds to a halt. We forget that we are not the producers of results but we are to diligently press on. We forget that we do not hold the future but we must hold onto faith in the One who does. We forget that like Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit and the very power of God, to empower us as we go about doing good and healing those under the devil's power (Acts 10:38). We are not to fixate on our path or our production, but to persevere and work diligently that God may produce the increase He has planned through our lives.
God promises great things with 'simple' diligence. Diligent hands: rule, bring wealth & satisfaction. Persevering in God's ways brings us to the promised inheritance and never fails (2 Peter 1:10). So what are the ways we need to focus on when life seems overwhelming? Let's just pause in 2 Peter and be renewed.
- We start with our faith. Faith in God's existence, His goodness and His presence!
- We add to that goodness---right actions.
- To faith and right living, we are called to add knowledge. We must seek to 'know' God in the details of our days.
- Knowing precedes self-control; we must do what we know, learn more and then discipline ourselves to obey that as well.
- Godliness is our next 'doing': it sounds daunting but it is natural. It means worship the amazing God we know! When we truly see Him, we can do nothing else.
- The last two seem so easy that many non-believers regularly replicate them: brotherly kindness and love. Brotherly kindness is more than helping someone that we might feel the warmth of having done a nice thing. It is the love for the brotherhood of Christianity that propels us to encourage as part of our 'like common faith.' It is Jesus-centered giving and may never be known as coming from us.
- Finally, we are to love as God loves...agape love. Love that puts the needs of the others before ourselves. It sometimes is 'tough love' that feels so painful; but it is the love that we must press on to achieve. Christ's diligence revealed that love and produced eternal life. We must let our character emulate the same diligent love!
What makes you want to give up?
How do you get beyond it?
Where can we look to find inspiring examples of folks who pressed on?
What did Jesus say motivated Him? John 2:17; 4:34; 9:4
Are we to rely only on our own power and vision? Acts 10:38; Eph 6:10; 1 Cor 2:5; 1 John 4:4; Psalm 91:1-3; Proverbs 3:6