When The End Goal Seems Too Hard

December 29, 2011
Lysa TerKeurst

December 29, 2011

When the End Goal Seems too Hard
Lysa TerKeurst

“…make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance…” 2 Peter 1:5a-6a (NIV)

No matter what your struggle has been, victory is possible today. Sadly, most of us don’t think that’s true. The problem is we tend to measure long term success while downplaying the absolute victory found in small successes.

Yesterday a friend of mine called to say she’d read my blog and, as a result, she walked away from indulging in a bag of M&Ms. That’s a victorious small success. Now, I can’t say that her scale will stand up and clap and reward her with much lower numbers today. But, if she builds upon this small success – choice by choice, day by day – she will see positive changes.

As the New Year approaches, many of us make some kind of healthy eating commitment. But even if that’s not your resolution, this principle applies to other struggles as well.

If I choose not to snap at my child and instead respond with tenderness, that’s a victorious small success.

If I choose to pause before responding to the rude sales clerk, thus giving her a smile instead of perpetuating her smirk, that’s a victorious small success.

If I choose to give my husband the benefit of the doubt rather than jumping to the conclusion he meant to hurt my feelings, that’s a victorious small success.

I like the way our key verse puts it. In 2 Peter 1:5-6, we are reminded to “add” some things to our faith. Two of those additions are self-control and perseverance. For me, I have to decide to practice the self-control and perseverance that is mine since God’s Spirit lives in me.

Think of it like a muscle. We have muscles as a part of our body. But we must add activity to those muscles to make them effective and strong. Our muscles will work for us if we exercise them. Self-control and perseverance will work for us as we practice these over and over. Start with the small victories and bigger victories will come.

Sometimes victory seems so far away because we measure it by the end goal. And end goals can seem overwhelmingly huge, daunting and just plain hard to reach. Instead, if we start measuring our victories by the smaller choices we make each day, victory won’t seem so impossible.

Big things are built one brick at a time.

Victories are achieved one choice at a time.

A life well lived is chosen one day at a time.

Dear Lord, I know that with You, victory is indeed possible. Day by day and choice by choice. Help me to believe this truth today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Lysa’s blog for a chance to win her book Made to Crave and her new 60 day Made to Crave Devotions book.

You’ll also want to register for her FREE JANUARY 9th webcast which will launch a Made to Crave online study led by Lysa and her friend, Melissa Taylor. Reserve your spot today by clicking here.

If this devotion resonated with you, Lysa’s book Made to Crave is just what you’ve needed. Click here to order your copy!

This book can be a group Bible study by using these life-changing resources: Made to Crave Participant’s Guide and Made to Crave DVD teaching series, also by Lysa.

You touch eternity every time you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries! Your purchase supports the many areas of life-giving ministry we provide at no cost. Although we wish we could offer the same prices offered by huge online warehouses, we simply can’t. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you!

Application Steps:
Sometimes victory seems so far away because we measure it by the seemingly overwhelmingly end goal. Instead, if we start measuring our victories by the smaller choices we make each day, victory won’t seem so impossible. Think of a struggle you are dealing with and daily record your moment-by-moment small successes. Pray over them, be thankful for each one. Watch them build one choice at a time. Remember, we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us!

Reflections:
A life well lived is chosen one day at a time. What does this statement mean to me? Do I find it encouraging? Or discouraging? Why?

Have I found that I tend to miss the victories found in small daily successes?

Power Verses:
2 Corinthians 4:16, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (NIV)

Psalm 73:26, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (NIV)

Romans 8:37, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (NIV)

© 2011 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org

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Comments

  1. Sarah Flores says:

    This is my biggest struggle to start my journey. In fact, wrote in my Made to Crave book last night while reading that I get stuck with the idea that this one small sacrifice really doesn’t make a difference in the big picture. Reading this post today reminded me of an idea of putting all the joyful moments of a year in a jar to look back on the next new year’s eve. I’m going to do this with my small sacrifices/successes. As I see the jar fill up, it will help remind me that each little thing DOES contribute to the bigger picture. It will also remind me to give thanks to God for helping me each of those times.

  2. Annette says:

    Today I had a small victory…. when I went to the vending machine, yeah I know there isn’t much good inside of those, but I was a tad bit hungry. I haven’t had a chance to do some major grocery shopping to have healthy snacks ready in my desk when the grumbling in my stomach starts and water just isn’t satisfying. So off to the vending machine I went with a co-worker. I could have chosen the peanut M&Ms (used to be my favorite), but instead I opted for a Fiber One bar. Yes I know they aren’t perfect, but much better than the chips and other stuff in the machine. BUT for me that is a small victory!

  3. Rita Yoshisato says:

    Hi I was wondering if there are any current 9-6-16 online ” Made To Crave ” bible study classes? I assumed this might be an old site since I didn’t see any

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