23 A person’s steps are made secure by the Lord
when they delight in his way.
24 Though they trip up, they won’t be thrown down,
because the Lord holds their hand.
25 I was young and now I’m old,
but I have never seen the righteous left all alone,
have never seen their children begging for bread.
26 They are always gracious and generous.
Their children are a blessing.
27 Turn away from evil! Do good!
Then you will live in the land forever.
Adversity, taken to new and higher levels, seems to be the ongoing theme for 2020 into 2021. Just attempting to live out daily pandemic life, work, school, grocery shopping, and following Jesus can be frustrating and exhausting. Every day is a new challenge to live as a disciple of Christ. Lately it makes me think of the quote from the fun sci-fi movie spoof, Galaxy Quest, “Never give up, never surrender!” But how can we overcome frustration and exhaustion? Where does the strength to “never give up” and keep on going come from?
The strength to “never give up” comes from the power of God made manifest in our lives. We can’t do it alone. When we follow Jesus, the way will not be smoother. Usually it gets rougher. Loving each other, fighting for social justice, and preaching forgiveness in an unforgiving world is like mountain climbing. Progress is slow and there are setbacks and falls. But the psalmist tells us that because we have a relationship with God, we will not be overcome. God has us by the hand, making our steps secure, steadying us when we stumble. As long as we turn away from what the world believes is expedient and we follow Jesus, we can make a difference in the lives of those who are suffering and hungering for God to be made manifest in their lives.
We receive the assurance that God will never leave us. The journey feels uphill, and sometimes we feel totally alone, a voice crying in the wilderness. But God will never leave us. We persevere because we are sustained by God through the Holy Spirit. This is holy perseverance and it’s like a muscle – the more we persevere in the Lord, the stronger we become in and through the Lord. With God we shall not be overcome.
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Do you feel overcome by the things of the world as you try to follow Jesus and show God’s love to others? Walk with God hand in hand.. and be renewed by God’s love and power. Remember today that when you persevere with God’s help, you are developing the muscles for holy perseverance.
Prayer: Holy, loving God, we are your children. Take us by the hand. We are feeling weary and frustrated because the world’s needs are so great and we feel so small. Renew your power in us, and develop in us your holy perseverance that we may continue to do your will. Amen.