An Attitude to Embrace

The A.R.T. of Survival, Day 2

By Chip Ingram

A prisoner of war survived nine cruel years of captivity. After he was freed, someone asked how he survived while some of his friends didn’t. He answered without hesitation. Those who kept expecting a quick release or rescue were constantly disappointed. They lost heart, lost hope, and lost their lives.

The realists who steeled themselves to persevere were mentally prepared for hardship. The optimists, when their expectations went unmet year after year, lost their focus and quit enduring “today.” 

There’s nothing wrong with optimism! The Bible calls us to live with hope. But we aren’t called to live with false expectations that everything will always go well. 

James says the testing of faith sharpens our focus on God and produces perseverance. Just as the fibers of weightlifters’ muscles get torn in a workout only to grow stronger and bigger before the next session, our faith is stretched every time we have to endure something. But that’s what builds perseverance!

Here are three questions that can help us develop perseverance.

Q1: What can I control when my world falls apart? 

A1You can control your attitude. In the midst of hard times, you can choose joy because of God’s goodness and grace. Don’t confuse attitude with feelings; you may not feel joyful. But refuse to give up.

Q2: What must I do to make it through today?

A2: You must endure. The more we trust God and faithfully persist, the stronger we get. Much of our distress today comes from worrying about tomorrow. But God hasn’t told us to figure out the future. Instead, we are to depend on God’s grace to make it through one day at a time.

Q3: What hope do I have for tomorrow?

A3: The answer is, you have hope anchored in who God is. He always has our best in mind. He can use the most desperate situations in our lives, work His purposes through them, and turn them to our advantage.

Today, embrace an attitude of joy and faith. Remember, God’s power is made perfect and complete in your weakness. Regardless of what you’ll have to face in the future, you’ll have the grace to deal with it. He will show up. 

Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:4

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