So it’s that time of year…when we struggle to write the date correctly and are reconsidering the lofty New Year’s resolutions we made. It’s dark when we get up and dark long before we go to bed…and all we want to do is stay on the couch.

But I read something this week from author Jon Bloom that made me want to keep working at personal growth. He encourages us to stop procrastinating by considering some truths. He refers to “The Strange Pattern of Progress” giving examples like how eating healthy is more work that eating junk or how we have to make ourselves read something good, but it’s easy to watch tv. Learning to do anything well – be a writer, musician or athlete takes hours of practice.

“[T]he experience of ‘not feeling like it’ also can become for us a reminder of a gospel truth and actually give us hope and encouragement in this battle. …The pattern in everything is this: the greater joys are obtained through struggle and difficulty and pain – things you must force yourself to do when you don’t feel like it – while brief, unsatisfying, and often destructive joys are as inviting as couch cushions.”

He answers the question of why we must struggle with Scriptures about suffering and perseverance and suggests that we see all the things we don’t feel like doing as invitations from God to follow Him as Jesus did. That totally changed my perspective and has been on my mind all week. If I can see things I don’t necessarily want to do as invitations from God instead of inconveniences, that makes want to do that work!

Reminders for encouragement:

Hebrews 12:1-3: 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, 2 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. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Romans 5:3-5: Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

God Bless You this week Friends!
Pastor Cindy