Persisting Through the Pain

By: Jill Briscoe

When you can’t praise God for what He allows, try praising Him for who He is in the middle of what He allows. The love of God is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, and He is the Spirit of perseverance. 

A friend who serves the Lord in France and has seen her hard-won converts falling by the wayside, moving out of the area, or just becoming so discouraged they stopped coming to the mission altogether, keeps on keeping on. “So who is He for you, Cathy?” I asked her. “He’s wonderful,” she replied, her eyes shining. “He’s so wonderful it doesn’t even matter that everything is so dreadful. I can praise Him for who He is even in this mess!”

If we are oriented to performance and results, it’s hard to remember that obedience—faithfulness and persistence—is all He asks of us. Praise helps us remember that.

Praise helps us to stop worrying so much about the outcome. It helps us trust Him more. It reminds us God is big enough, strong enough, and loving enough to sustain and help—even when we feel useless. Praise lifts our lagging spirits. In fact, Isaiah tells us God will give us “the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” (Isa. 61:3).

Chuck Swindoll writes about pain being “one of the few things we all have in common.” “Maybe,” he says, “You are the one with the crushed spirit right now—the hidden heartache that is too deep for words and too private for prayer chains.” If this is so, ask God to use pain positively in your life to grow the beautiful and fragrant flower of persistence.

Spend time in James 5:10-12 and ask God to work in your heart a mighty enabling to endure.

Jill Briscoe is the Founder and Executive Editor of Just Between Us magazine.