Determination relies on God as the source of your strength

determination keeps you going

Determination can make the difference between living a life of frustration and complaining, or living the abundant life that God has waiting for you.

The longer you've been a believer, the better you know that the Christian life is far from easy. The trouble with easy, though, is that it's often not right

It's easy to go along with the crowd. It's easy to break the Ten Commandments. It's easy to be self-indulgent and careless about others.

Fixing your eye

Determination means that you fix your eye on Christ and keep it on him, despite detours and distractions.

Whether Satan is responsible for everything that would pull you off the path is something you'll probably never know, but there are sufficient temptations to sidetrack you along the way. Determination helps you get back on the main line, heading toward God.

Call it perseverance or determination; it makes little difference. It's the rare ability to regroup after failure, the indispensible element in any worthwhile effort.

What a Christian!

Do you want a model for determination? Check out what the apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians, 11:24-26:

"Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers."

Whoa! Now there's one determined Christian. Paul wasn't going to let anyone or anything stop him from his mission of spreading the Gospel.

Now you shouldn't get discouraged if you're not as strong or determined as Paul.

On the other hand, you can compare your setbacks to his and think, "If Paul can overcome that with God's help, then surely I can overcome my problems--with the same power that God gave him."

Is it a brick wall?

Occasionally you'll run into a situation that seems absolutely impossible. You feel like you're running your head into a brick wall. You have real doubt whether it's the will of God for your life.

If you can't get any clear guidance from scripture, then it's time to stop banging your head into that brick wall and rest in God. Ask him sincerely in prayer to guide you and give you an answer.

This is not giving up. It's taking a break. It's asking God to show you a path through, under, over, or around this obstacle.

Or--it's asking him if you are doing the right thing. We often believe we're doing God's will for us when we're not. When you ask God to clarify his will for you in such a situation, it's his responsibility to do just that.

He doesn't want you to flounder or waste your time going down the wrong road.

He'll speak to you through his Word (the Bible), circumstances, or another person.

Determination and God's help

Surely Paul must have asked God if he was doing the right thing after each of these disasters. God confirmed Paul's desire, then gave him determination, through the Holy Spirit, to carry on.

Paul learned to rely on Christ for his strength. He couldn't muster what was needed on his own. Neither can you.

God may show you that you need to change your plans. He may require you to back off until he has time to prepare conditions for you. When you're in his will and need determination to go on, he'll give it to you.

Don't be afraid to ask. Don't be ashamed of being weak. It's when you allow God to replace your weakness with his strength and power that the victory will be won.


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