Today, I want to get a head start on what I know is going to happen. How do I know? Because it’s happened before. And, since my 2021 word for the year is Persevere, it’s a safe bet that at some point I will grow weary.
There were three areas of my life that God specified for me to persevere in; writing, building our home at the beach, and losing weight.
This past Monday, I began a new diet program. The previous plan I was on was great and I lost 15 lbs, although my goal was to lose 55 lbs. The problem came when I plateaued. I couldn’t get my weight to budge. Then between Halloween and Christmas I gained back 5 lbs, and between January and March I gained another 4 1/2 pounds. Oh no!
I must admit I have a healthy fear of being overweight. I watched my mom try diet after diet, even to this day at the age of 91. The proverbial yo-yo dieter. I was not going to be like her. For the most part of my life I was spared, but now in my sixties, I understand her struggle.
I am hopeful. In four days I have already lost just over 4 lbs. I’m not expecting each week will be quite as efficient, but this new plan is faith-based, which is perfect for me.
Yet, as I was looking through the Facebook support group posts, I was reminded that it will not always be easy. Life continues, problems come, and the temptation to revert back to the familiar comfort of food is a harsh reality.
So I prayed.
Here is what I learned.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
This is a good promise. God wants us to do good. Taking care of our health qualifies. He understands we will grow weary, especially when we don’t see results (the harvest.) He tells us not to give up. We will get there.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)
Hebrews 12:1-2 are my scripture for 2021. But look at verse 3: “so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Granted he is speaking of faith, but he is also speaking of perseverance in the race that is ours to run. Here is another:
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
He is calling us to him. He doesn’t berate or belittle us for not having the stamina or the will-power. He calls a spade a spade. If we are weary we need help. His help. Here is another:
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.Isaiah 40:29-31 (NIV)
What an awesome promise. How reassuring that God is there to strengthen us. Our part is simply to put our hope in the Lord. One last scripture. (I had to have each one of these.) This one is cautionary.
You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.Revelations 2:3-4 (NIV)
This was written to the church at Ephesus. They were doing good. They were persevering. They were fighting the good fight. But they had put these things above their love for God. They forgot what it was like when God was their world. When they were excited, grateful, inspired, in awe, and on fire.
God does not want us to persevere in a way that makes us weary. He wants us to persevere in a way that is hopeful and excited. Knowing that he is with us in all our endeavors.
This is my prayer over you:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.Romans 15:13 (NIV)
Grace & Peace,