As was moving books around today, I opened an old favorite to words I had highlighted about 15 years ago which really caught my attention again:
"True holiness does not make a Christian evade difficulties, but face and overcome them. Christ would have His people show that His grace is not a mere hot-house plant, which can only thrive under shelter, but a strong hardy thing which can flourish in every relation of life. It is doing our duty in that state to which God has called us, like salt in the midst of corruption and light in the midst of darkness, which is the primary element of sanctification."
If I want my walk as a follower of Christ to cause Jesus to shine in the eyes of others, I must demonstrate strength and perseverence, while depending on and trusting in His daily gift of ever-sufficient grace. Christians don't give up and they don't give in. Christians can't give out and they can't give in. They are overcomers! I'm to be an overcomer! I'm to stare danger or discouragement in the face and keep right on walkin'.
I've found during the past decade and a half that scripture rehearsal is critical to my ability to just keep plowing on in the face of whatever daunting difficulties might come my way. I used to call it scripture memorization, but the truth is I'm not very good at memorizing. However, I've found that the process of reading a verse or passage that is written out on a 3x5 card many times and intentionally processing the intent of the words has the necessary effect of strengthening me. I'm also more selfless and ready to serve when I meditate on God's word every day. For me, scripture rehearsal (that might lead to memorizing the passage) is as crucial as eating. I've learned that I need the Bread of Life at least as much as I need food! After all, I'm to be an overcomer!