"Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance." - Samuel Johnson
I am not a strong person as far as physical strength goes, but I consider myself to be a strong person mentally when it comes to dealing with life's challenges. The only problem with that is that there is an element of weakness that creeps in and stops me from being all that I can, and should, be. This element is the nasty little words that the enemy invades my mind with in an attempt to steer me off God's course for me.
This is an ever increasing issue that I need to overcome so that I can function to my fullest capacity. I have been blessed with the discovery of Joyce Meyer's book "Battlefield of the Mind" where I have learnt techniques to help overcome this. I am also blessed by regular blog posts I come across from my sisters in Christ in cyberspace who share their experiences. And yes, as you may have already guessed, I am blessed with God's Word that I diligently read every day for strength and encouragement where I discover that through Him I can overcome anything!
I actually can't get enough of studying His Word, and I often feel saddened when I know that I have to stop my study and get on with life. But I need to get on with life so that I can serve Him better and as I should. I am a daughter of God first and foremost and then I am a mother. And strength and perseverance are two key elements that a mother needs, whether a solo parent like myself, or a married mum with kids.
Speaking of strength and perseverance, the mum of one of Jasmine's pre-school friends recently had a wee baby boy. He is a gorgeous little bundle and already very alert. I've been fortunate to be able to see him a few of times over the last week and it's reminded me of the strength and perseverance a mother requires with a newborn. Not only does this mum have to get to know her new son and meet his needs, but she also is responsible for the continued care of her elder son, who is 4, plus her husband. She joked this morning that it's like having three children in the house! I won't enter into that discussion being that I'm a solo parent with just one child at home!
The only way I know how to be strong and to persevere, be that as a mum or in general, is through faith in God. I know, and it's been proven, that I cannot do life without Him. Everything I have comes from Him, and He has a purpose for everything, including me, which is to strengthen me through perseverance, as strength alone will not achieve His ends; it's character that matters.
Romans 5:3-5 tells us that we are to "rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
These verses show that we have the answer right here with us in the Holy Spirit. James 1:3 reminds us "that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." And 2 Peter 1:6 tells us that perseverance leads to godliness. Given these things we can conclude that strength and perseverance has a round robin effect. Perseverance builds character, which builds hope, which builds faith, which builds godliness, which builds strength, which then builds our perseverance for when trials come our way. And all this comes from God through the Holy Spirit.
James 1:4 tells us that "Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." It's a joyous feeling knowing that through all the hard times and through all the struggles that come our way that we can delight in the fact that all of this is working for the good of He who loves us. We will be favoured and not lacking in anything, but first we must become strong by persevering, hoping, having faith and calling on the Holy Spirit to strengthen us.