April 16, 2021
It really feels like we’re back to the start. It feels like we’re going through the same things like last year—the same pressure, the same stress, the same anxiety. And most, if not all, of us don’t want to go through it all over again. You’re tired. You’re still anxious. You’re still stressed.
What makes it more difficult is that we have other concerns—your studies, what’s happening with our government, your ministry, your friends, your career, your future, your life.
And there’s so much pressure and temptation to just quit, distract yourself, and find a way to forget. But we simply can’t.
Hardships and heartbreaks have their way of making us forget why we persevere. Choosing to give up offers temporary relief, but it will only make us feel like we are living miserable and meaningless lives. The truth is nothing in this life becomes meaningless for those who never give up.
I, too, was tempted many times to give in, give up, and get going due to the difficulties of life. It was in these moments that God reminded me of these simple things that give a surge of motivation to keep moving forward. May these reminders also give you a boost to press on.
1. Your struggles today will help strengthen your muscles for the future.
Training is always difficult. If you’ve read any sports manga, you know that the main character attends a training camp to undergo an unimaginable training regimen. Here, they experience a stressful and draining situation that they’ve never gone through before. But we also know that right after that is their powerup. Because of the training, they are now ready to overcome obstacles they never would’ve apart from this.
That’s not just true in manga or in sports. This is also true in real life. After you go through a stressful and draining situation, you develop a skill, a habit, a character that will carry you through the next hardship. Do you know why some of the challenges you thought you couldn’t endure are no longer bothering you? It’s because these challenges developed the muscles you needed to carry and endure them.
2. You only really lose when you quit.
Nowadays it seems easy and logical to quit because of the numerous options available to us. All these options seem logical and reasonable, but they might not produce in us the perseverance that we need. While it is true that you can get an online job without finishing a degree, but by experience, the path to having a strong sense of calling and a lasting relationship is filled with situations that will challenge you to never give up. It is the same with other aspects of life.
And while there are times where you have to discern with your leaders and mentors when to quit, there are also a lot of times when you shouldn’t. We have to understand that failure is part of life. You only really fail when you stop trying. In fact, failures and mistakes become sources of valuable lessons to people who choose to never quit.
Here’s a quote from the “GOAT” of my generation:
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” —Michael Jordan
Where would MJ be if he quit after failing his 10th game-winning shot? If you want to be able to achieve anything of value and importance, you will want to keep trying.
3. Your Greatest Hope has never left you.
The cause of all these pain and struggles in the world is the sin that corrupted the world and everything in it. The root of our struggles today can be traced to the sinfulness of somebody or the decay of the world. But God intervened and involved Himself in our world to solve the problem of sin. And He has never left us ever since. The pandemic has changed the world and the way we lived, but our ultimate hope has never changed and never left.
We have hope because God is with us. The kind of strength He offers and the grace that He gives will not run dry, unlike what the world offers. God supplies what we need to do what He called us to do.
And this same hope causes us to look forward to a new heaven and a new earth—a place where there would be no more struggling and no more pain. We anticipate the day the earth is healed from its decay and people are freed from sin.
Today, maybe you’re struggling with a relationship at home or with your friends. Maybe you’re having difficulties with a demanding subject. Maybe this pandemic has brought you more stress and anxiety than before. I pray that you’ll find strength in God through these reminders so that you may keep on persevering. And I pray that as you persevere through these difficult times, the unchanging promises of Jesus would bring peace to your heart.
Pwede mapagod. ’Wag lang aayaw.