“If for a while the harder you try, the harder it gets, take heart. So it has been with the best people who ever lived.”
— Jeffrey R. Holland
We’ve all heard the saying “the bigger they are, the harder they fall.” Much in the same way, the bigger the challenges ahead of us in our present moments, the bigger and more satisfying is the sense of victory having quashed those challenges.
It may seem bizarre to say this, but there is an irony known in the truth of life that sometimes the only way to conquer something is to meet it head-on.
This is why we can take heart in the hardest of adversities. We are strengthened by God in our weakness when we merely take heart by showing faith enough to simply persist. We don’t need to enjoy the persisting, but just continue in the doing of it.
There is no easier way in persisting than simply stepping forth, one step at a time.
That almost seems too basic. But it’s true; we often overcomplicate matters because of our emotions, because of panic; because of a lack of patience. We forget the promises of the Lord, that, in our distress we are to take courage, for Jesus has already overcome the world (John 16:33).
This is not rhetoric. It is a fact of the gospel-related life, where we employ strategies of faith—to keep persisting onward, despite these issues against us—we become ultimately blessed, at the appropriate time.
Keeping Good Company
The overall point of enduring adversity, persisting in our way in holding on with hope in our method of faith, is we are keeping good company.
We are aligning ourselves with the heroes of faith—and besides the myriad of those, there is none more we could want to identify with than Jesus himself.
Think of the veritable end-of-life torment that the martyrs endured. Or what about the great crises that cast many a person into long seasons of hopeless helplessness? There are survival stories that captivate us, but we forget that every great story of survival meant unbelievable pain in the making of legend.
If we are inspired by heroes—and none are greater than Jesus—we would have to agree that we have within us the ability to endure great adversity. We have unfathomable resources of patient tenacity when we simply step one foot after the other.
The greater the adversity, the greater we should take heart. Those very people that have inspired us have showed us the way. We are not made weaker by adversity; we are strengthened and made wiser for it.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.