Yes, you can!

Sweat poured off of me and parts of my body hurt that I didn't even know I had.  I was ready to quit, I just knew I couldn't complete the last 10 minutes of the workout I had begun.  I was upset that I had let myself get to the point that what had once been a routine task now felt like I was dying and I'll be honest, I had tears rolling down my face.  Yet I pushed through-and I did finish.  Not only that first day, but many days past it.

Before you click the X at the top right of your screen, stick with me for a minute.  I promise that this is not an exercise post about how I lost X number of pounds etc.  Anyone who looks at my picture can tell that I am not at that "ideal" weight or BMI.  I am not a dietitian or physical fitness expert and I won't pretend to be.  That is why this post is not about that.  What this post IS about is perseverance-not giving up.

I am not blessed to be one of those people who just LOVES exercise.  I don't dream of entering and winning a 5k.  But I am someone who wants to be healthy and for me that means increasing my exercise.  It means doing something that isn't especially fun in order to receive a benefit that exceeds the work I put into it.  And it occurred to me that this is a principle that applies to all areas of life, and it is one that God encourages us to apply.

James 1:12 reminds us that the person who perseveres, who withstands the trials of this life, will receive a crown of life.  Our walk as a follower of Jesus isn't always an easy one.  Just ask the teenager whose parents disown them for doing so (and yes, I personally know people that this has happened to here in the United States!).  Ask the families of the Libyan migrants who were thrown overboard and left to drown last week if following Jesus is easy.  Talk to the child in public school who is made fun of for carrying his or her Bible to class with them to see if they think following Jesus is easy.  Or ask the man who has to decide whether to do what is right and possibly lose his job, or do what Jesus teaches is wrong.  You don't have to live in another country to experience trials as a part of following Jesus example.

I don't know what you are going through right now.  You may be struggling to maintain a healthy lifestyle, or you may be in a situation like one of those above.  Whatever you are going through, let me remind you that you CAN get through this. Here are a few pointers to help you out.

  •  Philippians 4:13 reminds us that we can do ALL things through Christ.  When you face difficulty, turn to Jesus first.  
  • Turn to your brothers and sisters in Christ.  (2 Timothy 2:3)  We weren't intended to walk this path without help, rather to work together and help each other to stand strong.  (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
  • Recognize that this difficulty only lasts for a time.  And while it may feel like it is going to last forever, our time here in the grand scheme of things is fleeting when compared to eternity.  (Psalm 144:4)
  • Look for others going through a similar situation.  Perhaps you are going through this hardship so that you can provide comfort to another as God provides comfort to you.  (2 Corinthians 1:4)
So I'm going to go get back on my exercise bike, crank up some Crowder and persevere through this temporary physical difficulty.  I encourage you to stick with it and push through your difficulty - the reward will be great!

*Please note that is it not my intention to compare exercise with the sacrifices being made and the difficulties being faced by Christians all over the world.  Rather it is my hope that you can see the correlation between sticking with an exercise program that causes temporary discomfort for physical health and persevering through difficulties for an eternal reward.


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