Persevering Through Tough Times

“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of faith.”  Hebrews 12:1
Recently, I read a statistic that 77% of Detroit area homes were watching the Super Bowl last Sunday. Were you included in this statistic?

If so, you had the opportunity to join the support for former Detroit Lion quarterback, Matthew Stafford, as he led the LA Ram’s to a 23 - 20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals and finally hear him chant the iconic phrase “We’re going to Disneyland” at the conclusion of the game.

And as excited as we were for our former quarterback, this Cinderella story of Stafford’s first year with the LA Rams and winning the Super Bowl has not been the norm of his career. In fact, his twelve years with the Detroit Lions were quite the opposite experience as he was never able to win a championship with this organization. However, despite the Lion’s challenging seasons, Stafford continued to persevere through the tough times.

Have you ever had those Detroit Lions moments when things just seemed to be impossible? Maybe it wasn’t experiencing the worst record of the NFL, but it was listening to a difficult diagnosis or opening an unexpected bill. Perhaps you received an extremely hurtful email or learned of a betrayal from someone you considered a friend?

Hebrews 12:1-3 states: “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 before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of faith. 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.”

So the million-dollar question is… “When situations look hopeless, how do we as Christians persevere?" Recently, I had this discussion with my sixth graders during a religion class, and here were some of their suggestions:

• Ask God to help you look for the positive in every situation and focus on that not the negative factors
• Pray for strength and wisdom to get through challenging times
• Listen to encouraging Christian music
• Cling to Bible verses that provide hope
• Seek out friends that will give you Godly counsel
• Be encouraged that others are cheering for you and praying for you
• Remember that God can use this situation for good and bring you closer to Him

As one of their teachers, my heart was touched by their wisdom and spiritual insights!

So the next time you are facing a giant size challenge, remember that we have a giant size God who can help us get through any situation.

Have a wonderful week knowing that God will always be on the sidelines, cheering you on to run the race that He has designed for you!

In His Love,
Mrs. Palka

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