All posts in “PERSEVERANCE”




James 1:2-4 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

All of us have had trials in life through which we’ve had to persevere, and if you haven’t yet, don’t worry, you will. Trials are just a part of life. The funny thing about trials is that we never look at them as a positive experience at the time. Many of us wonder how God could allow such a horrible event or suffering to come our way. But James, the brother of Jesus, tells us that we should consider it pure joy. Easy for him to say, right? Actually, James lived at a time when there was great persecution for Christ followers. James was around when they killed his brother, Jesus, by placing him on a cross and crucifying him. James knew trials in his life; he faced them every day. Yet, James still focused on Jesus and persevered through all the persecution.

So how could he call it pure joy? Simple, he knew that every trial, big or small, could only make him stronger and closer to being the mature and complete person he always wanted to be. James came out of his trials stronger than ever and used them to help others get through their own. Remember, trials will come and go in your life, but how you deal with them is up to you. The question is: Will you stay focused on Christ, letting him work in and through you? Will you allow Christ to make you stronger than you ever imagined, or will you allow your trials to get the best of you? It’s your choice!

QUESTION 1. What trials are going on in your life right now? How have you been dealing with them?
QUESTION 2. How can you be like James, staying focused on God through trials and being able to consider them pure joy in your life?
CHALLENGE: Whenever trials come into your life, we challenge you to “let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything..”




James 1:2-4

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

You may have heard the saying, “God never puts you through more than you can handle.” While that sounds nice in theory, it just isn’t true and isn’t found anywhere in the Bible. Go ahead and look for it; you won’t find it. The truth is that God puts you through way more than you can handle in your own feeble strength. But here’s the good news: God has more than enough strength to give to us and it’s only through his strength that we can get through our hardships.

James tells us to consider it pure joy when we encounter trials. He doesn’t tell us to complain about them, or stress about them, or wallow in self pity, no, he tells us to be joyful! It is through your toughest trials that you’ll look back and see the most growth in yourself and discover a huge increase in your faith. It is perfectly fine to be sad if a particularly hard trial comes your way, but then give it over to God and ask for his strength to get through it. There will never be a time when God won’t give you his strength. It might not turn out the way you’d like, but take comfort in knowing that all glory will go to God and that he knows exactly what he’s doing.

QUESTION 1. Are you trying to face trials on your own? What was your most recent trial and how did you go about handling it?
QUESTION 2. Do you believe that God can really take care of you in your trials? Pray, talk with Him about your concerns.
CHALLENGE: Next time a trial of any kind comes your way, don’t try to rely on our own strength. You will fail. Give it to God, rely on his strength and be joyful knowing that he will see you through.




Psalm 94:9

Does he who fashioned the ear not hear? Does he who formed the eye not see 

If you’ve ever run long distances, or even a few short miles for those of us non-runners, you inevitably come to that point when you feel like there’s just no way you can run one more step. So you persevere and keep running despite the pain, you walk for a while, or you just fall down on the ground. Life can be lot like that. There are times when you feel like you can’t possibly face one more day and you don’t know where the strength will come from to keep moving. That is a hard place to be, but it’s also a great place to be, because that is where God can miraculously intervene.

It is in our darkest moments that God wants us to draw closest to him so he can speak love and life into us. But so many times in our despair, we don’t listen. God promises to never leave you or forsake you and he has more than enough strength to lift you up. It doesn’t necessarily mean that God will deliver you out of something, but he will certainly be with you. When you face a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, don’t let it paralyze you with fear; turn to God, the only one who can give you enough strength to take it on. Then stand up with boldness knowing that you have the God of the universe on your side and nothing, nothing at all, is too great for him to handle.

QUESTION 1. Have you ever reached a point where you thought you couldn’t go on anymore?
QUESTION 2. How did you overcome that season of life? Did you face it alone or look to God for help?
CHALLENGE: Endure. Keep the faith and believe that God will either deliver you or be with you in troubling times.




Jeremiah 29:11

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

Life can be really hard sometimes. There are moments when we can see the purpose for the challenges, but those moments can be rare. It is so easy when those hard times come to question God’s plans or His love for us. We want God’s plans for us to be easy, but also bigger than ourselves. The problem is, those two hardly ever go hand in hand.

So often in Scripture we see people going through hard times. Israel was living in exile, Sarah couldn’t have a baby, Joseph was kidnapped, and enslaved. The disciples were constantly ridiculed for caring for outcasts. The list goes on and on. Through this we see that hardships are inescapable. In fact, they are actually promised. Jesus said that we will experience pain, hardship, and disappointment in this world. So it is not a matter of if we will go through hard times, but when we go through them.

Hardships are promised — it is a reality of life we cannot escape. However, we have another promise that will get us through. God has promised to always be with us. This promise can carry us through every hardship because God will always have a plan to work for the good of those who love him.

QUESTION 1. How can the promise of struggles prepare you to face hardships in your life?
QUESTION 2. How can the promise of God’s constant presence prepare you to face hardships in your life?
CHALLENGE: When you go through hard times, keep your focus on God’s promises rather than focusing on your struggles. Shift your perspective and see how that changes the battle.




2 Corinthians 12:9-10

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

 Life is made up of good days, bad days and mediocre days. Of course, it’s easy to have a good attitude when the good days come and even when the boring, middle of the road days happen. But it’s not so easy when a day turns unexpectedly sour. We hate being weak, or depressed, or faced with difficulties.

But take a look at Paul. He was preaching the gospel to everyone and doing God’s will everywhere he went. You would think that God would take extra good care of him and not allow anything bad to happen to him, but that’s not how things went. Paul encountered hardships like you wouldn’t believe, but he embraced them with gratitude knowing that when he was at his weakest God was making him strong and was always with him.

That is a hard place to be because it requires trust and reliance on God in your worst moments. But how great would it be if even when you were stressed, distressed, persecuted, insulted, or faced with difficulty you could be content? It’s totally attainable. When you face your darkest moment, lean into God and lean in hard, and by God’s grace he will guide and strengthen you and you will find yourself breathing in fresh rest like you haven’t experienced before.

QUESTION 1. Have you ever faced a difficulty and found yourself unaffected by it? Were you still content with life and sure that you would come through on the other side?
QUESTION 2. How did you come to that realization? Were you seeking God and leaning on him?
CHALLENGE: Whatever you are facing, know that you aren’t alone. When we are weak we are empowered by Christ and we become conquerors through him.




John 16:32-33

A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

In times of trouble and pain it’s hard to believe that God is still with you and cares about what it happening. For some of us maybe it’s that a parent was taken from us prematurely and we wonder, “Why?” or, “What now?” Or maybe you had dreams of a certain kind of career and suddenly those dreams are dashed to little tiny pieces after an accident or injury. In those moments of trials it’s hard to notice God and what good could possibly come from it.

But the thing is that sometimes there isn’t an explanation for the bad that happens. Sometimes it’s just a result of a fallen and sinful world. What we can hold onto though when the world goes crazy on us is God. He tells us that there most certainly will be trouble in our lives. He doesn’t say there might be, or you may have, he says there will be trouble. What we do know is that through this trouble God is still good. We can take such comfort in the fact that God has already overcome everything the world throws at us and that no matter what happens in this life he has already won.

QUESTION 1. When you encounter hardships where do you turn to? Substances to numb the pain, or food, or binge-watching television?
QUESTION 2. Do you believe that God has overcome the world and its hardships despite these hardships still occurring?
CHALLENGE: Next time the world throws trouble your way and you don’t know how you’re going to get through it, just reach out to Jesus and he will lift you up and carry you through. He has overcome.




James writes, Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds. Wait, hold up. Consider it pure joy when you face trials? I don’t know about you guys, but when I face trails I’m not jumping for joy. When I face trails I’m usually pretty upset. So why does James call us to joy?

Why? I suppose because looking back at my many trials I’ve faced, I can begin to see that God has used these trails in my life to make me a better person. He uses every part of the bad and turns it into good for us. And if we can persevere through the tough times, we will come out looking more like Christ. We can be more mature and complete, just like our creator.

So consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work in you so that you may be mature and complete, and not lacking anything. Consider it pure joy just knowing that you have a savior who will work all things for your good. And if you can persevere, then you will come out the other side looking far more like him.

QUESTION 1. Have you ever gone through a truly tough time in your life, a time when you felt like things were so bad you couldn’t imagine them ever being good again? Were you able to have joy through that trial in your life?
QUESTION 2. What does James mean when he says that we can have pure joy whenever we face trials of all kinds? How does this knowledge affect our relationship with Christ?
CHALLENGE: We challenge you to face your next trial with joy, knowing that you will come out of the trial looking more like Christ when you persevere!




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.

Suffering is just a part of our sin-stricken and fallen world. You can’t escape it and you can’t ignore it. Maybe you or someone you know is fighting cancer and you just don’t know how much more you can take. Or maybe you’re working a job where you’re persecuted for your faith and you just can’t take the ridicule anymore. Suffering is everywhere but it doesn’t need to be something that knocks you to the dirt time and time again. Jesus suffered in unimaginably horrific ways when he died for us on the cross, but he persevered even unto death.

In the book of Hebrews the author tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus and the cross when we are suffering so that we won’t grow weary and lose heart (Heb. 12:2-3) We have the ultimate example of suffering and perseverance in Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, things may not always get better; we may not get healed or we may still be persecuted. But through it all we know that God has us in his hands and we have the Holy Spirit to comfort us. Jesus had to die before he could be resurrected. Remember, suffering is a fact of this life and it won’t end until we are reunited with Jesus in heaven. But while we are here, we can either choose to let it destroy us or we can choose to overcome it and hold on to our hope in Jesus Christ. Persevere. Be strong. Endure.

QUESTION 1. When you’ve encountered suffering in the past, how did you respond? Were you the victim or the warrior?
QUESTION 2. Do you trust and believe that Jesus is more than enough for you in your suffering? Why or why not?
CHALLENGE: Next time you are faced with suffering, persevere. Your endurance will produce character and hope through the Holy Spirit. We are more than conquerors through Him that loves us (Rom. 8:37).




Philippians 1:6

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

 Life sucks sometimes. There are days when you can barely get out of bed for fear of facing what the day is bringing, or days when you can’t even fathom taking another step. Maybe you’re working in a job where no one appreciates you and the boss puts you down all of the time, but you know you’re supposed to be there as a light for Jesus. Maybe you’re in some type of ministry and you’re worn out and aren’t seeing any results, and you’re just over it. Well, you know what? That’s okay, because it’s when you reach that point when you feel like you can’t go any further that God can step in and say, “Here, let me take that burden from you.”

Wherever it is that you’ve been called to, know that God has you there for a reason. Yes, it may get hard, discouraging, or downright awful, but find peace in the fact that God has begun a good work in you, and he will most certainly see it through to completion. All you have to do is keep walking forward; persevere. Trust that God is in control and that he loves you more than you could ever even begin to understand.

QUESTION 1. What is in your life right now that is discouraging you or making it hard to keep going?
QUESTION 2. What hardships have you encountered in the past that you actually entrusted to God and then ultimately overcame? Did He come through for you?
CHALLENGE: Trust that God will finish what he said he would finish and completely rely on him.




Imagine living in Chicago Illinois and planning a trip to Florida. You pray about the trip, book your hotel, and buy and pack all your necessities. When you’re finally ready to leave, you jump in your car to head out; however, once on the interstate, instead of traveling south you decide it would be a novel idea to travel north. How quickly do you think you will reach your destination heading in the wrong direction? The same goes with our life. You see, your direction and not your intentions will determine where you end up in life. This is a very simple life principle. Andy Stanley has coined it the “principle of the path”. Simply, if you want to travel to Florida then you have to head in the correct direction to get there. The same goes for our relationship with God; that is, if our desired destination is to grow in our relationship with God, we need to do the things that lead us in the right direction (e.g. pray, read our Bibles, go to church, etc.). If we choose to ignore these things, then we will surely head in the wrong direction and never end up in the relationship we so desperately desire.

QUESTION 1. In what direction is your faith headed? Find a place to write down your desired destination as it pertains to your relationship with God.
QUESTION 2. Are you placing yourself in compromising positions that cause you to head in the opposite direction from your desired destination? If so, what are they and how can you plan to remove those compromising situations and head back in the correct direction?
CHALLENGE: Take a hard look at your desired destination. What does it look like? What does it look like in 5, 10 or even 15 years from now? What things do you have to do to make your desires come true? We challenge you to drop the good intentions and do the hard work that it takes to make your desires come true today!




“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Have you ever had bad things happen to you or someone you love? Have you ever blamed God for those horrible circumstances?

Know that God loves you; he loves you so much that he sent his only son to suffer greatly for you. Being a Christian never meant that you would live the perfect comfortable life. But know that when bad things do happen, God will always be there to pick up the pieces of your brokenness, and if you are willing, he will even use your brokenness to further his Kingdom (Romans 8:28).

QUESTION 1. Write down some of times or circumstances that you made you angry or bitter with God. Did being mad or angry with God help your situation or relationship with him?
QUESTION 2. Based on question 1, what can you do to take those bad situations and use them for God’s Kingdom?
CHALLENGE: We challenge you to ask yourself (instead of “why me, this isn’t fair!”) “what can I do with my suffering to further God’s kingdom?”




James 1:2-3

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

 I know that for me, when I’m going through a deep and dark time, the last thing I want to hear is someone telling me to be joyful. I feel the same way about the verse in James above. I’ve heard it so many times that I usually just ignore it.

But I’ve learned over time that trials really are a beautiful thing. Hard, of course, but so good. It is in those moments of testing that you find out who you really are, what is really important, and how hard you lean on God. It is impossible to find joy on your own when you are in the midst of a trial, but it is completely possible when you chase after God, because only he can bring you pure, unadulterated joy.

Whether you’re in a trial now, or one is coming, continue to run hard into the arms of God and he will bless you abundantly with joy and perseverance.

QUESTION 1. Do you find it ridiculously hard to find joy in trials?
QUESTION 2. Do you try to persevere through trials on your own? Or do you seek God’s help?
CHALLENGE: Don’t take on trials on your own; it will be too hard and you will fail. Lean into God and he will be right there with you.




Psalm 119:105

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Sometimes I get afraid in the dark. Now, I would not say that it is the dark that I am afraid of, but I am afraid of my imagination in the dark. It is crazy what our minds are capable of; mine likes to act out when I cannot see what is around me. There is an element of the unknown that shifts our thoughts.

There have been so many times in my life when I was in the midst of a lot of unknown: moving to a new place, starting a new job, going to a new school, planning for the future. Our lives are full of steps that lead us into change and uncertainty and it can cause us to get a little uneasy at times.

Candles, lamps, and flashlights can teach us a lot about God. Scripture tells us that God gives us a light for our path. The path may be dark all around us and we may not know where we are going, but God gives us exactly what we need to take one step at a time. You don’t have to walk the whole journey of life in the dark. Be fully present and live out the steps God wants you to take today!

QUESTION 1. How do you respond when there are areas of uncertainty in your life?
QUESTION 2. What steps are you going to take today in the light of God’s Word?
CHALLENGE: Give God your frustration over not knowing the whole journey and allow him to show you what is right in front of you.




Ephesians 2:19-20

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone.

In Matthew 7 Jesus tells his disciples a parable of a wise man and a foolish man who are both building houses. The foolish man builds his house on sand while the wise man builds his house on a solid rock. When the rain and wind came, whose house do you think stood strong? We like to think that we are always the wise man, but so many times we build the foundations for our lives on worldly things. Things like wealth, relationships, our jobs, social status, cool toys we own; the list goes on and on. If we build our lives on worldly things, then when we get hit with tragedy or pain all those things crumble and we have nothing to stand on but our own feeble strength.

You must build the foundation for your life on the solid and unwavering rock of Jesus. If he is the foundation, then nothing the enemy throws at you will faze you or knock you down. No matter what storm comes into our lives—sickness, joblessness, broken relationship—we can hold firm to the promise that we have a savoir who loves us and who won’t be knocked down by a petty storm. We are secure. Don’t build your life on the shifting sands of this world; build it on the cornerstone, the solid rock.

QUESTION 1. On what are you building your life?
QUESTION 2. Based on what you’ve built your life on, what happens to you when a storm comes? Do you fall or are you able to stand firm?
CHALLENGE: Build your life on the solid foundation of Jesus; read his Word, talk with him, and build an unbreakable relationship. Then He will help you overcome the trials of tribulations of this world.




John 12:27-28
“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

We’ve all had those heart stopping moments when we first hear a grim medical diagnosis whether it be for ourselves or a loved one. We immediately begin asking, “Why me? Why not that person over there? They aren’t good like I am.” It’s human to question your circumstances when something tough stomps you to the ground, and most of the time it’s hard to see what possible good could come of it. But that’s where faith comes in, and in that moment it’s up to you to decide; will you be a victim or a warrior?

Next time you start to believe the lie that you just can’t go on anymore or your health starts to deteriorate, tell God, “Father, I glorify your name.” Then persevere and keep up the fight. God will be with you every step of the way whether things get better or they don’t. James 1:12 tells us, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” Live every day to the glory of God and one thing is for certain—his name will be glorified.

QUESTION 1. What is going on in your life right now that God is asking you to persevere through? school? a tough job? a broken relationship? health? Write them down.
QUESTION 2. Do you believe that despite the trials in your life God will be glorified and take care of you? If not, talk to Him about it; be honest.
CHALLENGE: When you encounter a trial of any kind, ask God to give you the strength to persevere and cause his name alone to be glorified through it.




2 Corinthians 4:17-18 “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (18) So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Do you ever feel so overwhelmed with life that you begin to panic? Do the troubles that life brings your way sometimes feel never-ending? The Apostle Paul encourages us not to focus on our momentary troubles because they will soon pass away; but rather, he calls us to focus on the eternal glory and prize, which lay ahead through the person of Jesus Christ. If you place your trust in Jesus, he will direct you through your troubles. And always remember that this pain you feel now won’t last forever.

QUESTION 1. What struggles are you dealing with right now?
QUESTION 2. On a scale of 1-10 (1=not at all & 10=all the time) how much do your struggles and troubles affect your life and relationship with God, family and friends? What does 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 say about your troubles?
CHALLENGE: When you find yourself focusing solely on your struggles we encourage you to fix your eyes on what you can’t see, and what’s eternal! This pain you’re feeling won’t last forever, and the reward, being in eternal glory with our Father, will be the greatest reward you will ever receive!




1 Corinthians 9:25-27

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

 When we are in the thick of everyday life we can tend to forget the reason we’re here. Wake up, shower, drink coffee, go to school, go to work, do homework, watch Netflix, go to bed. Repeat. We begin to wonder in the monotony of life when our big God moment is going to happen or when we’ll be able to do wonderful works for his kingdom. But the truth is those moments are happening every day, even in the monotony.

Every single act we do, no matter how big or small, can be done for the glory of God. You don’t have to wait for that mission trip to Haiti to do God’s work or to attend that Christian conference. But as the verse above says, “competing” in the game of life requires strict training. This could involve spending time with Jesus, reading his word, or even saying no to people or areas in your life you know will distract you from the eternal prize.

If there is something in your life that is distracting you from running the race, ask God to help you identify it and then get rid of it. It could be what you’re watching, looking at on the internet, people you’re hanging out with, parties you’re going to; whatever it may be, if it pulls your focus away from God, get rid of it. Then, be ready to live every moment for God, even the small and boring ones.

QUESTION 1. Do you find it hard to live for God when life feels dull and monotonous? Have you been waiting for your big God moment?
QUESTION 2. What may be distracting you from running your race effectively?
CHALLENGE: Live every day for God, remembering that we are working for an eternal prize.




1 Corinthians 9:24

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.

 We’ve all experienced points in our lives when the only way we could finish something was by the finish line being so close we could almost touch it. For example, maybe it was a school project or studying for a test that you spent weeks on, and you felt like you couldn’t work or study anymore; but you persevered because you knew it would all be over in a few days. Or maybe it was an actual race and you breezed along the first few miles but that last mile killed you, and the only way you finished was by looking at the flags at the end.

Sometimes though, we can’t see the finish line. We’re exhausted. Spent. Used up. We have no idea how we can persevere any longer. But Jesus tells us, in those especially hard moments, to not slow down but to run even faster. You may be asking how you could possibly do that. Run faster? That’s the beautiful thing, though, because it’s in those times when we have nothing left that Jesus steps in and says, “Grab my hand. Let’s run together.”

QUESTION 1. Have you been getting burned out in some area of your life? School? Work? Relationships?
QUESTION 2. Have you slowed down or have you kept running? Why? Answer honestly.
CHALLENGE: Run the race of life like the finish line is right in front of you, knowing Jesus is running with you.




Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation that seemed completely out of your ability to handle? When I think of situations that seem impossible to bear, I think of my grandpa. I have learned so much from watching him battle obstacle after obstacle. During a two-year span, the obstacles seemed to come one right after another and none of them were easy to face. I was so inspired by how he faced each battle, or rather, how he turned his face to the God who was fighting his battles with him. He kept his eyes fixed upon the God of the Universe who could empower him to overcome any obstacle.

What trials are you currently facing? Where is your focus? Our source of strength is only as strong as the center of our focus. When we focus on obstacles, they have more power in our lives. When we focus on our own strength, we become limited by what we can do on our own. However, when we shift our focus to the source of all strength, obstacles and our own strength shrink in comparison.

No matter what you are facing today, I can say with all assurance that God is so much bigger and stronger than those obstacles! Let the God who can speak the world into motion fill you with his strength.

QUESTION 1. In the midst of hard times, where do you tend to place your focus?
QUESTION 2. What is keeping you from believing that God can give you all the strength you need?
CHALLENGE: Turn your eyes to the power of God and ask him to fill you with strength to do his will as you persevere.




Psalms 23:4

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

 You’ve just gone on a mission trip and you feel like you’re flying. You are buddy-buddy with Jesus; you believe nothing can go wrong, and you can take the entire world on with one hand tied behind your back. But a week passes and suddenly you’ve crashed back to earth. You were on top of a mountain and now you’re back in the valley, and life doesn’t seem so great down here.

Mountaintop experiences, like mission trips, church retreats, and even great spiritual discussions, are awesome, but you have to understand you can’t live on that mountain forever. At some point you have to come back down; and life gets “hard” again. But the valley is just as beautiful as the mountaintop because it’s in the valley that Jesus molds and shapes you into an even more beautiful representation of himself. Next time you go from mountain to valley, just remember that you’re there for a reason, and then embrace Jesus, the one who is walking right next to you in those hard times.

QUESTION 1. When was the last time you had that mountaintop experience? Did you crash after a while?
QUESTION 2. What did you do after you came off that huge experience? Did you wallow in self-pity? Throw God to the side? Spend all your time wishing you were back in that moment?
CHALLENGE: Find joy even in those hard valleys because they are in your life for a reason. Plus, Jesus is right there with you; what could be better than that?
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