Have you ever been really excited about starting a new venture and then lose the passion for it sometime later? It could be a job, a course, a relationship, a business, a community service initiative, a ministry, or anything that has grabbed your attention. The initial appeal has lost its energy and now you have to decide whether or not to keep at it or give it up.
Some things in life turn out to be short term. They actually do have a shelf life. It’s important to be able to recognize what things need to be put to rest gracefully. I have found life is full of experiences like that and I can always learn lots of life lessons from my involvement with them.
However, there are things that have a long-term purpose that I need to stay involved in, particularly when I’m faced with overpowering temptations to quit. Anything worthwhile in life requires a stick-to-it tenaciousness. There will always be obstacles, roadblocks, challenges and surprises to face along the way. If we prepare ourselves for this inevitability, we can learn how to persevere and overcome.
While this applies to any aspect of life, it particularly relates to maturing our relationship with Christ and our service for him. Our calling to think and act like Jesus, in order to impact and transform our community for Christ, is the thing worth giving our lives to daily. Once you get a picture of what the Lord is interested in doing in and through you, you get excited about the possibilities each day holds.
And then stuff happens and you start to lose the drive you started out with. You wonder if perhaps its time to wrap things up and look for other activities that aren’t quite so hard. How do you get clarity during the spiritually foggy times, when its difficult to see where you’re heading and what, if much, progress you have made? How can you reignite the passion you had early on to help push you past your present temptation to quit?
The apostle Paul has some good advice for us as usual. In his letter to the Thessalonians, we learn that what we are experiencing is normal and that temptations to quit living for and serving Jesus can be overcome with the right perspective.
Read 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13 and see if you can identify a major key that encouraged Paul and will do the same for us. What brought Paul so much joy that his passion for ministry was constantly renewed? In what ways can living each day with this mindset be revolutionary for us, our families and our community that needs Jesus?
Have an amazing day…see you Sunday.