Faith: Persisting When I Don’t Feel Like It
Every morning I spend time with our five year old son doing something educational. This might be working in an activity book, playing math bingo, phonics or spelling. When we work on something new or if he just doesn’t feel like doing what we are working on, his go-to phrase is, “I can’t do it!” When he say’s those words, we pause and I ask him this question, “Who are you?” He responds with “Captain Awesome“. I ask, “Would Captain Awesome quit?” and Captain Awesome says “no!” So, we work on persevering through what we are working on, even when Captain Awesome doesn’t want to. I think persistence is one of the greatest values that we can teach the next generation. Teaching them to never give up even when they feel like it. For me, I don’t want to pass on the cultural value to my kids and the next generation of just doing whatever you feel like doing because growth happens when we live by our commitments and not based on our feelings.
Confession, I don’t always feel like doing the right thing. I don’t always feel like being nice to people or reading my Bible or praying. I don’t always feel like writing this devotional. I don’t always want to do the selfless thing because the truth is that I am quite a selfish person. There are times I would rather grab a book and a cup of coffee, find a quiet place and be alone. But just because this is what I feel like doing doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do. You see, if I only read my Bible, if I only prayed or if I only served my family when I felt like…well I think the Enemy would make sure I never felt like it. Growth happens when I live by my commitments and not by my feelings.
Friends, you don’t get anywhere because you feel like it. You don’t become a great athlete or musician because you feel like it. You don’t excel to the top of your field because you feel like it. You don’t become a godly person because you feel like it. You make a choice to train and practice disciplines and develop the habits that produce success and godliness in your life.
So, how do you develop persistence? The key is to not look at your problem but to look at the Lord and keep your eyes on that which is invisible. Moses is the greatest example of persistence, who for 40 years lead a bunch of grumbling people through the desert. Although Moses may have felt like giving up, he never did. He persisted and kept his eye on the invisible, “By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.” (Hebrews 11:27).
So, what is it you don’t feel like doing? I have no doubt that some of you reading this are discouraged, depressed or even in despair. You feel like giving up on your marriage because it’s hard. You feel like quitting your job or giving up on your dreams. Maybe you even feel like giving up on your relationship with God. Let me tell you in this moment, don’t give up because faith is persisting when you don’t feel like it.
"You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head." Psalm 139:5