Persistence, Perseverance, and Patience

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Persistence, Perseverance, and Patience

Don’t set an ambush, wicked man, at the camp of the righteous man; don’t destroy his dwelling. Though a righteous man falls seven times, he will get up, but the wicked will stumble into ruin. Don’t gloat when your enemy falls, and don’t let your heart rejoice when he stumbles, or the Lord will see, be displeased, and turn His wrath away from him. Don’t worry because of evildoers, and don’t envy the wicked. For the evil have no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out. My son, fear the Lord, as well as the king, and don’t associate with rebels, for their destruction will come suddenly; who knows what disaster these two can bring? Prov 24:15-22 (HCSB)

In this life, all who face the challenges of this world should remember will contend with wickedness, replete with obstacles to overcome, and evil plots that will stir rebellion even in your heart. However, the righteous are equipped to overcome. With God on your side, you have not only His presence but  His gift of persistence, perseverance, and patience within you. These qualities are a necessity in the life of a righteous person. They are the same traits our Lord God exhibits toward us every day.

Persistence is the unyielding attitude that urges you to “never, never, never quit!” It motivates you to get back up, no matter how repeatedly you may stumble and fall, and confront the obstacle that caused you to stumble and fall. Persistence is what it takes to overcome the forces of evil that do not want us to prosper and succeed in this world.

Perseverance is the strength to stand firm when the currents run against you because the wicked of the world desires we run away. Perseverance allows us to struggle upstream while everyone else is rushing downstream, not wanting or willing to do what is right, but rather blend in with the wicked ways of the world and become like everyone else.

Patience is the trait that says though you cannot yet reach the goal you seek, the way will reveal itself in due time. The destination you seek may not be reachable but the way exists around the next bend of the road. Patience governs perseverance and persistence to enable you to overcome all obstacles and opposition to discover the life Lord God has promised you.

There will be much resistance and rebellion along the journey. Crowds will become angry mobs because they are unable to stay the course and will blame those in authority and even God. But, do not falter. A day will come when the anger will subside when the opposing current stops rushing against you, and the preferable future comes into plain view. On that day, tears of joy will flow when you see what God intended. You will also discover all the others who like you fought the good fight and are cheering you on. And, God will declare, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Choosing the right ways in this world does not guarantee they are easy ways. Quite to the contrary, there will be times your faith will be tested to the limits, your strength seemingly exhausted, and your mind, body, and heart will falter during a test of your faith, but when you align yourself to God’s will and ways, you will always find the persistence, perseverance, and patience to pass the test.

Never, never, never quit! Never retreat, offer no regret, and go forward without reservation in pursuit of God’s will and ways for your life.

Coach

Note: Like other devotions here on CoachBrown.org, the characters in the Shiloh Mystery Series (Sanctuary, A Legacy of Memories; Testament, An Unexpected Return; and Purgatory, A Progeny’s Quest) reflect the same choices and consequences we likewise face in our lives. How each story plays out is rooted in the values espoused by the values you find here in CoachBrown.org–over a decade of reflections applying biblical values to our lives. Visit TMBrownAuthor.com to learn more about my inspirational Southern stories.

Father to Son Responsibility

We are Never Alone when We Walk Daily with the Master
We are Never Alone when We Walk Daily with the Master

Father to Son Responsibility

Listen, [my] sons, to a father’s discipline, and pay attention so that you may gain understanding, for I am giving you good instruction. Don’t abandon my teaching. When I was a son with my father, tender and precious to my mother, he taught me and said: Your heart must hold on to my words. Keep my commands and live. Get wisdom, get understanding; don’t forget or turn away from the words of my mouth. Don’t abandon wisdom, and she will watch over you; love her, and she will guard you. Wisdom is supreme—so get wisdom. And whatever else you get, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; if you embrace her, she will honor you. She will place a garland of grace on your head; she will give you a crown of beauty.” Prov 4:1-9 (HCSB)

What our country needs today is more fathers involved and engaged in their families. Sons need strong role models to guide them as they grow and mature in the important stages of their life. However, sadly, many families today are forced to develop without a father active in the daily lives of the children. Mothers are left alone to raise the children and are overwhelmed and ill-equipped to provide the father’s role to their children. The results are children who grow up without the solid foundation of parental support that God intended from the beginning of time.

Isn’t it interesting that long before governments and nations were established, God ordained marriage and the raising of families as the foundation of society? Even the earliest nations were nothing more than extended families supporting one another for their common good and security. However, as government and religious institutions were established the pressure for power, prestige, and pleasure within these man-made institutions became far more important than maintaining God’s intended role of parents in the family setting. Society lost the connection of how a proper perspective on the power (influence and authority), prestige, and pleasure that the family relationship was intended to provide. Instead, men sacrificed their parental roles and responsibilities for the pursuit of the benefits of fleeting power, prestige, and pleasure that they believed come from climbing social and secular ladders. The applause of men became more important than the applause of their family members.

Additionally, in recent decades women have been included in the same pursuits as men and fallen prey to the social and secular pursuit of power, prestige, and pleasure that comes outside of the family. The definition of true success and the family has been further crippled as a result. The children have become the victims and paid the price, as mothers and fathers have shuffled their parental and familial responsibilities onto the shoulders of schools and churches and other social activities.

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Speaking primarily to the fathers, you have a responsibility designed and established by God to be the role model for your sons (and daughters) to promote God’s will, ways, and wisdom found in His Word. Children desire and deserve the applause of their fathers. Your most important applause should come from the eager response of your children seeking our approval for what they do, say, and achieve.

America, what made us strong for many formidable decades was our agricultural family base, where multiple generations lived together on the farm supporting and encouraging each other. Everyone in the family shared in safeguarding the common good and security of the family members.

However, as America prospered and became more successful as an industrial society, families moved into the cities for the “so-called better life,” the traditional family structure suffered. Add the information age we currently are in, and now we find our children engaged in social networks looking for their acceptance and applause. Their role models are celebrities in sports, music, and movies, and not their fathers or mothers.

Why? The answer is simpler than we realize: Our children need approval and guidance and are seeking it from convenient and welcoming connections outside of their family, such as social media because their parental role models are too busy pursuing their own lives.

Let us be reminded what God wants us to remember: When I was a son with my father, tender and precious to my mother, he taught me and said: Your heart must hold on to my words. Keep my commands and live. Get wisdom, get understanding; don’t forget or turn away from the words of my mouth. Don’t abandon wisdom, and she will watch over you; love her, and she will guard you.

Coach
www.coachbrown.org

Children, obey your parents in the Lord because this is right. Honor your father and mother—which is the first commandment with a promise— that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life in the land. And fathers, don’t stir up anger in your children but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Eph 6:1-4 (HCSB)

Visit TMBrownAuthor.com and check out the Shiloh Mystery Series now that Purgatory, A Progeny’s Quest released to complete the saga. In the third and final novel, the concept of fatherhood plays a central role as an orphaned teenager arrives in little old Shiloh.

Kindness in Times of Crisis

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Kindness in Times of Crisis Changes Lives

Kindness in Times of Crisis

…the kindness of God leads you to repentance… Romans 2:4b

It is funny, once a child of God experiences the personal joy of God’s kindness in his or her life, that joy is shared with someone else by acts of kindness in return. In sharing the joy of God by acts of kindness, God’s purpose is realized. Only His children can receive His joy, and only His children can share His joy with others through sincere acts of kindness…that is how God works through us to reach those in the greatest need of receiving His joy. Once those in need of God’s joy in their life receive joy from one of God’s children through some act of kindness and they recognize the source of that joy there can be but one response: repentance, or turning from a life of sorrow and strife towards a life of hope, optimism, and peace only found through receiving God’s joy in their life.

Right now in our community, there is a lot of bad news touching lives, and families are struggling as parents are at risk of losing jobs and homes. Our community needs to sense of joy through many acts of kindness that leads them to have a real sense of hope, optimism, and peace. The only stimulus plan that will last is the plan God has for us not what man can deliver. God’s resources are unlimited whereas man’s are certainly limited and cannot last. Share with someone today the hope of God through an act of kindness and see how it can stimulate joy in others.

Coach

(This devotion was originally written to a host of students, teachers, and friends caught up in the financial crisis of 2009. Our current crisis is not the same but the challenges and fears of uncertainty are the same as before. Kindness remains a gift of God that will save lives from despair and destruction. Whose life will you impact by your acts of compassion and kindness today and tomorrow?) 

Visit TMBrownAuthor.com for stories that reflect the value of kindness in times of crisis in the Shiloh stories.

Sanctuary,  A Legacy of Memories

Testament, An Unexpected Return

Purgatory, A Progeny’s Quest

Why Life Has Dark Days

light v darknessWhy Life Has Dark Days

Here I am with the children the Lord has given me to be signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord of Hosts who dwells on Mount Zion. When they say to you, “Consult the spirits of the dead and the spiritists who chirp and mutter,” shouldn’t a people consult their God? [Should they consult] the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the  testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, there will be no dawn for them. They will wander through the land, dejected and hungry. When they are famished, they will become enraged, and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God. They will look toward the earth and see only distress, darkness, and the gloom of affliction, and they will be driven into thick darkness. Isaiah 8:18-22 (HCSB)

We often lose our focus on what are the really important issues of life and we discover the light fades along the path we are on in life. Darkness prevails because we grow ignorant to what is happening to us and to our loved ones. Darkness morphs to distress and despair along our path and we discover only an uncertain, gloomy, fearful journey lies ahead. When that happens many of us realize they are helpless and attack anyone else for the feelings of despair. When that fails, God becomes our target for our frustration.

People will resort to consulting “dead” spirits for answers in their darkness hours of desperation. But, “what benefit can the dead be for the living?”How can light be shed from searching the darkness of the grave? Why not search for the source of all light? 

“Why do bad things happen to good people?” is an age old question that many struggle with in their hearts and minds. However, God allows times of trials, testing and tribulation to strengthen our relationship with him not to cause despair. As we walk by faith in difficult and dark times seeking God’s will, ways, and wisdom to guide and protect us during those dreaded dark times, the dawn will reveal a stronger faith within us that binds us closer to God than before the darkness overcame our lives.

Centuries after only the truly faithful survived the trying days that fell upon Israel and Judah shortly after the days of Isaiah, a faithful remnant huddled in an upper room in Jerusalem in the darkest days after the crucifixion of Jesus. However, where no hope is found, God’s grace restores hope and his glory sheds light upon our dark and gloomy fears. Why is it that God separated the day from the night? Is it because it makes us appreciate the light of day and fear the dark uncertainty of night? Without times of darkness how would we know to love and appreciate the light?

So why would we try to save our own life and seek light from darkness? There is but one source of light and he also is the Creator of life. No one enjoys darkness and despair, but oh how we all love the dawn of light when we darkness and despair envelop us. Run to the light!

Coach