Archive for May, 2014

Hang in There!

I never dreamed it would take so long. I never anticipated many of the problems that I would face when I started to write a book four years ago. It definitely was a test of whether or not I would endure.

What started out as an attempt to pass on to my small group important ideas and practices for spiritual growth that I learned in seminary, gradually grew into an effort to publish a book.

I had to overcome many obstacles within me like, “I can’t do this”, “What happens if I fail?” and “who needs help with editing?”

During those four years I was to spend $24,000 of my own hard earned money and spend thousands of hours writing and rewriting the book.

During that time I was told to “give up and put the book in a drawer and forget about it.” The self-publishing company that was helping me publish the book went out of business taking $6,000 of my hard earned money and not delivering any service for it.

Seven months ago I had emergency heart surgery and almost died.

Yet, through it all I sensed that God had a message he wanted to get to his church through the book. I persevered because I thought I was doing work with God in helping his children to grow in their relationship with him.

And the book was published on a few days ago!

However, the need to persevere continues for I have things to do to market the book. When will it ever end?

Yet, God reminded me a few days ago that it is not in vain. “But what happens if you do not use the book in people’s lives?” I said to him. “It’s not in vain,” he said back (1 Corinthians 15:58).

I recalled something that he taught me in the last few years that nothing is in vain if done in obedience, in dependence and for his purposes.

So, I am free to focus on my tasks and leave the lion-share of the work to him to market the book, just as I did in working with him in writing the book.

So, what do you need to persevere in?

One definition of perseverance is to persist in an activity in spite of difficulties and discouragement.

The truth is that we will seldom succeed right away. God tells us “For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised” (Hebrews 10:36).

He also says to us we will “bear fruit with perseverance” (Luke 8:15). One fruit is becoming a more mature Christian, which includes psychologically and spiritually (James 1:4).

If God has led us into an activity, we are to keep at it until he clearly leads us to quit. He commands us to hang in there! (Hebrews 12:1).

How do we persevere? How do we hang in there? Grind our teeth and gut it out?


We ask God to help change our attitude about hard things. Instead of groaning and complaining, we view difficulties as opportunities to grow in our dependence on God (James 1:2-3)

We can also choose obedience to God over success and comfort as our goal in life.

Finally, we can also ask God to help us experience his deep love for us and his goodness. Then we can rely on his promises like “You will see My goodness in the land of the living (paraphrase of Psalm 27:13), and “Surely My goodness and love will follow you all the days of your life and you will live with Me forever in heaven” (paraphrase of Psalm 23:6).

Our reliance on these promises can help us to persevere through the pain.


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