Do you ever have those days where you wonder if God’s promise to you will ever come to pass?
Perhaps you’ve heard clearly what He’s called you to do and you’ve done it faithfully, only to feel like you’re toiling in obscurity.
Perhaps you feel like you’re spinning your wheels and wonder if you’ve heard from God at all.
You’re not alone.
Fulfilling your purpose requires a great deal of patience and endurance. It’s no wonder that so many fall short. Living a life of purpose is not for the faint of heart.
Think of the many examples of how God’s chosen had to press on to receive their promise.
I can’t imagine how discouraged Abraham and Sarah felt wondering where their promised child was. Or how difficult it was for Job to fight depression after having lost it all, despite his refusal to turn his back on God. Or the journey Joseph had to endure as he went from the pit to prison to the palace after receiving “the dream” from God.
Galatians 6:9 reminds us: “And let us not be weary in well doing for in due season we shall reap if we don’t faint.”
There are five key principles that I live by to keep me going in those times when I feel like I’m going nowhere (or like I might faint):
Pruning is not punishment.
I’m not a gardener by any means, but I do understand that you need to trim back anything that is not beneficial for the tree so it can grow stronger, taller, and healthier. It reminds me of getting my hair cut. When I go through the phases of wanting super long hair, I dread having to go to the salon to get a trim. But trimming back the dead hair actually helps your hair grow. The same is true for pruning seasons in our life. God desires to prune back anything that will not be fruitful to your growth. So instead of cringing when God takes the scissors to you, perhaps you can say what I’ve learned to say to my hair stylist when going for a trim: “Do what you need to do.”
Don’t rely on feelings.
Feelings are great indicators but bad drivers. They will lead you to do things that can land you in a ditch or drive you off a cliff. I know (believe me, I do) that feelings can be so intense that they feellike truth, but they rarely are. That’s why you need to rely on His Word, and not your feelings. If you feel hopeless but God says He has a plan for you, who do you want to believe? Choose God.
Keep pressing on.
Any time you want to give up and turn around, remember that many times you have to have the breakdown in order to get the breakthrough. On several occasions, I’ve faced discouraging setbacks right before I made an important breakthrough. Maybe those times were God’s test or Satan’s temptation, I don’t know, but I pressed on and I want to encourage you to do the same.
Evaluate your season.
Not every season is harvest season. That’s just not possible. There are seasons of planting and cultivating as well as harvesting. If you are too busy complaining that it’s not harvest season, you could be missing a time when you’re supposed to be planting. Ask any farmer if he expects to reap a harvest if he didn’t plant. He would think you’re crazy.
Play your position.
In any game each player has a position to play and they can’t always control whether or not they win the game. The best they can do is to play their position well. The same is true when you play on God’s team. We each have a position to play but we are not responsible for the outcome. The outcome is God’s position. So be sure to continue to do what YOU were called to do and don’t be concerned with why it’s not going the way you want.
Walking in your God-given purpose takes patience and persistence. Call upon Jesus to guide you through the tough times and you too will live in the sweet victory of knowing that you are well on your way to hearing those wonderful words ,“Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
If you desire to find and fulfill your God-given purpose, but don’t know where to start, grab a copy of my new book, Make it Matter – A Roadmap to Living a Life of Purpose. It will help you to discover what God created you for, how to develop your gifts, and how to design a life you’re proud of.
Want more? Grab a copy of your FREE ‘Uncover Your God-Given Purpose’ Guide