I look upon every dispensation of Providence as designed to answer some valuable purpose, and hope I shall always possess a sufficient degree of fortitude to bear without murmuring any stroke which may happen, either to my person or estate. George Washington, Letter to Lund Washington, May 29, 1779
George Washington recognized the important relationship between purpose and perseverance. He did not believe that the events of his life were simply random blips on the radar screen of the universe. God had a purpose and that helped him to press on.
The Apostle Paul reveals a similar outlook, but I think he takes his conclusion one important step farther. Because God is in control, I can and must press on. Here's what he says:
- God is working out his purpose in your life . . .
- And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 ESV
- So press on in humble dependence on Him today . . .
- Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13 ESV
- And don't complain!
- Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Philippians 2:14-16 ESV
Your challenges matter to God. In fact, he's working out his purposes for your life through them. That's reason for fortitude and gratitude!