Holding On, Praying Expectantly.
by Rick Warren
God is always on the alert, constantly on the lookout for people who are totally committed to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9a (MSG)
"The way you use the middle of your life has more influence on your end than the beginning. "
We've discussed cultural distractions, voices of doubt, and tempting shortcuts. The fourth pitfall you will face during your Decade of Destiny is discouraging delays.
The truth is, when God gives you a dream, there will be delays, difficulties, detours and dead ends along the way. These things are a natural part of life. But you can be ready for them.
The antidote to discouraging delays is to refuse to give up on the dream God gives you. As I said, a lot of people start out well, but they give up too quickly. They don't hope.
H-O-P-E: Holding On, Praying Expectantly.
Now if anybody had a right to be discouraged, it was Noah. Do you know how long it took Noah to build the arc? 120 years. Could you go 120 years on a project without one word of encouragement from anybody else in society? In fact, could you go 120 years with everybody ruthlessly ridiculing you and saying, "That guy is nuts. He thinks he hears from God."
Noah trusted God. And when he heard God's warning about the future, Noah believed him even though there was no sign of a flood. I bet there were many days that Noah didn't feel like going to work, but for 43,800 days, he went to the same place and he worked. He never gave up.
Now listen, the way you use the middle of your life has more influence on your end than the beginning. A lot of people think, 'Oh, I have to begin right or I won't end right.' No. It's what you do in the middle of your life -- when you don't give up even though you feel like it -- that determines the end.
You could have messed up a whole bunch in the beginning and you might be thinking, "I'm going to give up on a dream. I'm going to settle for second best." But if you hang on and refuse to give up, the rest of your life can be the best of your life. That's what Decade of Destiny is all about. The decisions that you make in the middle of your life will determine your end.
Don't give up on the dream. Don't give up on the marriage. Don't give up on your health. Don't, don't, don't give up. God is in control and the final chapter of your life, you haven't read yet. God's already written it, but you haven't read it yet.
The Bible says, "God is always on the alert, constantly on the lookout for people who are totally committed to him." God is looking for people that he can bless. I want you to be one of those people in the next ten years.
Pray -- Jesus, I know that in the days ahead there will be times of discouragement. But I want to do exactly what you tell me to do and I want to refuse to give up when I feel like giving up. I want to hold onto the dream that you give me. I want to be one of the people that you can use and bless in the next ten years.