Is there anything as rewarding as having the long-held desires of our hearts become reality? For some people, it might be a really big thing, like finally getting married, making it through grad school, or starting a family.
But many of our hopes and dreams are related to smaller, everyday issues, like spending regular time with the Lord, serving our church with our spiritual gifts, deepening communication with our spouse, children, or key family members, or—that old favorite for a new year—launching an exercise plan.
But as we all know, good and godly desires can be thwarted! Our lives are full of challenges, and it’s frustrating and discouraging, especially as we start a new year with good intentions and new resolutions, when our plan to meet our goals gets off track. I’m guessing that after only four or five weeks into 2024, our inspiration to make changes and strive for goals has begun to fade. The motivation is ebbing, and discouragement is setting in.
What can we do about that?
Three Essential Ingredients for Turning Desires into Accomplishments
1. Inspiration: the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially something creative or new
2. Motivation: the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way
3. Perseverance: having steadiness and doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success
Question: Where do you find these ingredients, and how do you keep them?
The answer is not on the self-help shelf; it’s found in Psalm 103.
First, take time to remember God’s acts:
Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. PSALM 103:1 – 5 NIV
I cannot tell you how many times I have followed this advice, especially when my inspiration is gone, my motivation is waning, and I simply want to give up. I literally take a walk and thank God out loud for every person, blessing, event, and answered prayer I can think of. Other times, I pull out a sheet of paper or my journal and start writing under the following categories very specific blessings that God has given me.
- Spiritual Growth
- Answered Prayer
You’ll be shocked at the power of gratitude. Your perspective will be restored and your motivation reignited. And then reflect on God’s ways:
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. PSALM 103:8-14 NIV
Read that passage out loud and meditate on the truth that this is what God is REALLY like. He’s compassionate, He cares, He understands you, He’s not down on you, He’s taken away your sins forever, and He’s not shocked or surprised at your struggles. I encourage you to take a minute and circle all the words in the above passage that reveal who God is and then pause, ponder, remember, and worship.
And lastly, make this a priority. Spending consistent time studying God’s Word with gratitude and reflection will keep your inspiration burning, your motivation strong, and your perseverance steady.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your partnership with Living on the Edge. You are a source of inspiration, motivation, and perseverance for me and our entire team.
Let’s keep pressing ahead in gratitude for all God has done and is doing!
CEO and Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge