To be someone who perseveres, it is necessary to . . .
• Learn the difference between being a failure and experiencing failure in life. Once we trust in Christ as our Savior, we are new creations, and our past failings are just that—in the past. Any future mistakes are to be regarded as temporary defeats; they do not define who we are. The apostle Paul learned this lesson well. No matter how many times he was reviled, chased out of town, or stoned, he did not consider himself a failure. Rather, he looked to His Lord to determine the truth about who he was: a forgiven sinner commissioned to take the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 22:10, 21).
• Learn that encountering difficulties and tests does not automatically mean we're to change direction. They may delay us in reaching our goals, but they aren't necessarily a dead end. Look at trials not as reasons to quit, but as opportunities that can assist us in reaching goals. During our moments of defeat, God wants to teach us something that will help us succeed later on. Paul didn't interpret the tragic events of his life as signals to stop. He knew what God was calling him to do and was committed to accomplishing it. He also experienced the power of persistence to transform his character and give him hope (Rom. 5:3-4). We are sustained by such hope, even in our greatest crises.
Through the work of His Holy Spirit, our heavenly Father will give us the ability to stay on course. Do not give up. Draw near to the Lord, and allow His power to sustain you.
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