Monday, July 18, 2011

Stick To It

He knew things were pretty bad. But the extent of the evil was shocking to him. It seemed that neighbors and relatives didn't want anything to do with the God of creation. They lived as if He didn't even exist. Noah's heart was broken. He knew that God's patience was running out. God had let Noah in on His plan, "The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth," (Genesis 6:13; KJV).

Noah would follow God's instructions and build a huge ark that would be sturdy enough to house he and his immediate family, in addition to many animals. Although he didn't understand what rain was, or how the large boat would float, he had faith in the God of his fathers, and he would do as he was told. Noah had to smile. The structure he was to build would take over one hundred years to complete. It was just like the God of the universe to continue giving people the opportunity to repent and turn back to Him!

As Noah and his family worked to build the enormous structure, they had plenty of opportunities to encourage curious on-lookers to turn back to God. Day after day turned into year after year. The people continued to mock Noah and refused to turn from their wicked ways. There must have been days when discouragement threatened to halt the massive project. Not a single person believed that the holy God of heaven was going to destroy the earth with a flood. But in spite of being laughed at and ridiculed for their faith, Noah and his family continued to follow the plan that God had given them.

Just as in Noah's day, life can look pretty bleak to me. Reading the local news proves that sin and wickedness is alive and well today, too. When heartache and loss are waiting outside my door, I'm faced with a decision. Will I lose hope and cave in to circumstances? Or cling to the hope I have in Christ, trusting that He is still in control? Will I decide to quit, choosing to crawl into bed and pull the covers up over my head? Or will I continue to follow the plan He's laid out for me?

Noah's story is encouraging. He continued to do the right thing, even when difficult circumstances didn't change. After 120 years, Noah didn't have a single neighbor or relative join him on the ark. Only he and his immediate family were saved from the flood waters. He was so secure in his relationship with God that he was able to keep his eyes focused on his Master. He refused to let the actions of others discourage him from the work God had called him to do.

When challenges surround me and there's no light at the end of the tunnel, I can lean on the words of the Apostle Paul, "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not," (Galatians 6:9). My job is to continue doing what the Lord has called me to do, trusting my Heavenly Father with the outcome.

Are you easily discouraged when circumstances are challenging and they stay that way? What needs to change in order for you to keep your eyes on the Lord?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I'm so grateful that You are in control. When circumstances seem bleak, help me draw on Your strength and continue doing what You've given me to do. I know the outcome is in Your hands. In Jesus' name, Amen.


  1. I do find myself easily discouraged when things get challenging, it spikes my anxiety and i take out my frustration on myself. I struggle alot with this, but i realize that i need to remember that God knows the best thing for me and my life, and i have to continue to trust that process. I have to remember that challenges are a part of life that encourages growth....besides, what quality of life would i live if i remain stagnant! Thanks for this post and the prayer at the end!

  2. Ironic, but I posted on something similar (though not as deep) on my website this morning. The past weeks I've been living in that discouragement. This week--no more. With God on my side, I can do anything and I am stepping out!

  3. This seems to be a theme running on several blogs I've read today. God is obviously reminding us to hold on and keep is not in vain!

    Excellent words, Maria, and very timely. :)

  4. It is easy to get discouraged about life sometimes. Thank you for this encouraging post, Maria. A much needed reminder!

  5. KC - So good to see you! Sounds like you've given this topic lots of thought. It's wonderful that you came to the conclusion that since God knows best, you're going to trust Him with the process! Have a super blessed week, my friend! :)

  6. Ralene - I love your resolve! Praying that you'll overcome that discouragement with the truth of God's Word, and believe Him for the GOOD plan He's got for you! Have a wonderful week full of God's blessings! I'll be sure to stop by your blog this week!

  7. Jessica - Thanks for stopping by! I love it when a theme is repeated on several blogs - I don't need to wonder if God is trying to get my attention in a certain area! Thanks for the sweet words of encouragement. Have a fantastic week and I look forward to stopping by your site. God bless! :)

  8. Connie - So glad you stopped by! If my focus isn't on the Lord, it's so easy to get discouraged. But remembering who He is, and all He's done, is able to change the discouragement into encouragement! Have a truly blessed week!

  9. Hi Maria -

    Noah's been on my mind lately. He stayed the course and reaped the blessing.

    I wonder if we, as writers, would persevere if we knew it would take 100 years to accomplish what God called us to do.

    Susan :)

  10. Susan - Love the thought that Noah "stayed the course and reaped the blessing!" Your next statement is a bit more daunting - I'm thankful that we're only responsible for the day God gives us! Breaking it down, makes it so much more manageable! Have a wonderful week my friend. God bless!

  11. So glad to hear from you Maria! AND I am so glad you are enjoying Be Still! It is such a joy to have women like you (after God's own heart) encouraging me!!!!
    Blessings and hugs!

    AND oh my did I need this post!!!! I keep reminding myself that I may get "down" but I'm NOT out! It is in HIS strength alone that I stay the course. I must abide in Him, so that He can abide in me!!!
    Love to you!

  12. Good post again Maria. It is super easy to get discouraged, as a matter of fact, I feel like it happens every day. But I choose to put my mind at higher things, so I can be a positive example in an often negative world. Joy is contagious :)
    By the way, the real size ark (you probably heard about it on the news) is right here in front of my house, on the river. I see it every day! Today we even had a rainbow!

  13. Cherie - Great to see you! Not only am I enjoying your book, I've actually recommended it to several of my friends. It's wonderful to see how the Lord is using you and your ministry.

    When I become discouraged, I've found most often that it's because I'm relying on my own strength and my own plan. When I realize that God is infinitely bigger than any issue I'm facing and that He is able, the focus shifts from me to Him. Abiding in Him IS key! Have a fantastic week, filled with His blessings!

  14. Marja - Thanks so much for stopping by! Setting our minds on the right things IS critical. After all, our thoughts become our actions. Your joy is apparent in your writing and a direct reflection of our Savior! Keep shining, my friend!

    So cool to see pictures of the replica of the ark! I didn't realize it was right in front of your house! Seeing a rainbow with the ark in such close proximity must have been really special. I can just imagine Noah and his family all those years ago, worshiping God for the promise that accompanied the very first rainbow! Have an excellent week and God bless!