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Contributor:
Joy Bollinger

Weariness affects all of us and I am no exception. There have been times when I felt like I was drowning in a sea of overwhelming weariness, and the shore’s safety was beyond reach. However, I have discovered that during those times of weariness, my faith is not only tested but it is strengthened.

Webster’s Dictionary defines weariness as being exhausted in strength, endurance, tolerance, and patience. Weariness is a reluctance to continue with something. That mental, physical, and spiritual exhaustion can occur after years of praying and seeing no answer? However, the Word tells us not to be weary in doing what is good, for if we do not give up, in due season, we will reap a harvest of blessing (Galatians 66:9). Regardless of the length of time, our persistent prayers will, in God’s time, reap a harvest.

A remedy for weariness is persistent prayer, because in being persistent, we are working towards God’s best for us. Persistence is defined as a “firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.”

Scripture tells us that the persistent widow, begged the judge for justice in her dispute with her enemy. The judge ignored her because he said, “…the woman is driving me crazy!” However, she persisted until he finally said, “I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!” (Luke 18:1-5) Persistence defies the circumstances. God want us to be that “persistent widow” who never gives up.

Jesus told the story of the friend who came to his neighbor’s house at midnight to ask for three loaves of bread, but his friend told him to go away because he was in bed. However, the man persisted in asking, so his friend got up and gave him the bread. Jesus then said, “…though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistance he will rise and give him as many as he needs. So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened (Luke 11:5-10).

The Apostle Paul was persistent, regardless of hardship and suffering. Five times, he received 39 lashes from Jews. The Romans beat him three times with rods. His enemies stoned him once. Three times he was shipwrecked. He spent a night and a day in the open sea. On frequent journeys, he faced dangers from rivers, robbers, the Jews and Gentiles, dangers in the city and open country and by “friends” who betrayed him. He suffered many sleepless nights, hunger, thirst, cold, and nakedness. Yet in all of his suffering, he remained thankful, cheerful and confident, showing endurance with an obstinate persistence to do what Christ had called him to do.

It is doubtful that we will every suffer all that Paul suffered. However, the lesson learned is that we cannot give up when things are difficult or because we don’t see an answer within our time frame. Unfortunately, we humans are an impatient lot due to technology that has trained us to expect quick results and fast service. Yet the road to victory is often slow with detours. It takes continual persistence, patience, and an uncomplaining, grateful heart to circumvent the obstacles.

Patience is defined as having the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. Patience persists in trusting and praising God as we pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonian 5:17). Paul was a master of patience and persistence.

Trusting God is vital to faith, especially when answers to prayers are delayed. Those delays test our faith, and when faith is tested and proven, our endurance grows, and when our endurance is fully developed, we are made perfect and complete in Him, needing nothing (James 1:2-9). Our response to delayed answers should be, “Lord, I don’t understand why my prayers have not yet been answered, but I will praise You in the midst of waiting and trust there is a purpose as You work out the details.”

Praising God in our circumstances defeats the enemy of our soul, because we are then focusing on God and not the problem. God tells us that if we vacillate between faith and doubt, then we are double-minded and unstable in all of our ways (James 1:8). Unstable means to be “prone to change, failure, or to give way under pressure.” The enemy is constantly provoking us to become weary so that we will give up. For that reason, God’s Word must be daily on our lips and settled within our hearts.

As we take our journey, we cannot base our faith on what we see or feel but rather on God’s Word and His promises. If we have prayed for a specific problem for years and have not seen an answer, know that weariness will make every attempt to discourage, entangle, and suffocate our faith. For that reason, we cannot yield to worry, fear, and doubt, which are by-products of weariness. Those things will drain our energy, strength, resolve, faith, passion, hope, and peace.

God has provided us with everything we need for whatever we will face. However, it is incumbent upon us to put on the full armor of God, which is truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and the Word of God. Only then can we stand firm against all strategies of the devil, for our enemies are not made of flesh-and blood, but are evil rulers, spirits, and authorities of the unseen world (Ephesians 6: 11-18). This means that every day, we are to live and speak His Word over our lives and the lives of our families, as we give thanks to God in all things.

Victory comes through perseverance, trust, and the belief that God is faithful and true to His Word, regardless of the battle’s length. Often the nearer we are to victory and receiving our miracle, the more pressure the enemy exerts on us to give up or change the course that God had set before us. However, every battle, struggle, and adversity prepares us for greater blessings. For that reason, we are not to be anxious about anything. Instead, in everything by prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving, we are to let our requests be known to God. Then as we acknowledge and trust Him with all our heart and not lean on our own understanding, He will direct our paths (Philippians 4:6; Proverbs 3:5-6).

PRAYER:
LORD, help me find rest in You. Give me that measure of faith that never gives up but perseveres in persistent prayer. May I always trust and praise You in the midst of waiting as You work out the details. For I know that You work all things together for good (Romans 8:28). In Jesus name, amen.

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