“Remember those early days after you first saw the light? Those were the hard times! Kicked around in public, targets of every kind of abuse—some days it was you, other days your friends. If some friends went to prison, you stuck by them. If some enemies broke in and seized your goods, you let them go with a smile, knowing they couldn’t touch your real treasure. Nothing they did bothered you, nothing set you back. So don’t throw it all away now. You were sure of yourselves then. It’s still a sure thing! But you need to stick it out, staying with God’s plan so you’ll be there for the promised completion…But we’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way.” – Hebrews 10:36 (MSG)
The movie Lion is about Saroo, a five-year-old boy growing up in rural India. Saroo and his brother Guddo would scrounge for coins and food on trains to help their impoverished mother and siblings. One day, Saroo fell asleep inside an empty train stationed a few stops away from their hometown while waiting for his brother to fetch him. When he awoke hours later, he was thousands of miles away in Calcutta. Saroo would spend several terrifying weeks surviving on the streets of Calcutta before eventually being placed in an orphanage and adopted by an Australian couple. Saroo would go full circle, using Google earth and a pitfall like stick-to-itiveness to overcome discouragements and stay focused on the goal. Eventually his diligence enabled him to reunite with his mother.
It reminds me of a story in Haggai 2. The Israelites had returned to Jerusalem after years of captivity to find the Temple lying in ruins. The Israelites had other priorities than the temple. Haggai exhorts them to get their priorities right: to put the house of God first. This is a story of discouragement. We all face discouragement and when we are discouraged it is hard to stay focused on God. God says through Haggai: “Be strong, all you people still left in the land. And now get to work, for I am with you, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 5 My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid.” (Haggai 2:4-5)
When we are discouraged in our lives, we need to be reminded of God’s promise to us – “I am with you”. When we are feeling discouraged in life, we need to remember that God is with us. If you need convincing, look back through history. The history of the people of Israel proves God’s constant love. The history of the church proves God’s constant presence. But just as importantly, when we look back through our own lives, we gain a sense of God with us always – even when times have been tough, we can sense the hand of God in our lives. We simply need to stay the course to stick to His plan and purpose for our lives.
- What does spiritual stick-to-itiveness mean to you?
- What can we do this week to stick to it in our Christian walk?