“I am determined, O God! I will sing and praise You with my whole heart.”
2 Timothy 1:12
“Because of this, in fact, I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, because I know the one in whom my faith is set and I am convinced that he is able to protect what has been entrusted to me until that day.”
Determination. The mere word sparks images of situations which required a decision in the face of fear or apathy. A child learning to ride a bike decides that they will take off the training wheels and plunges headlong on a two-wheeled vehicle, despite every part of their being that cries out against it. In that moment, determination overcomes every argument that attempts to intervene. How? The costs are weighed; the benefits of triumphing over fear and riding in freedom instead of being constrained by training wheels wins. The achievement is worth it, even if a couple of scraped knees happened along the way.
Being determined when learning something new is challenging, but perhaps not as challenging as ruling the heart when tempted to fear, doubt, or become pessimistic or bitter in the midst of life’s harrowing challenges. It is a decision made, a setting of the will to choose to not focus on the outward seemingly impossibilities and to set our hope on God’s ability and promises. This kind of determination cannot be half-hearted. It cannot be void of passion. It requires all of our heart and our being. Our members might try to sway us from a determined stance due to fatigue or discouragement; but giving in to fleeting emotions will not grant us the sweet victory that sticking firmly with a belief or conviction will.
Knowing the One our faith is set upon is the source of all our determination. Our hope is not futile, it is grounded on the Rock, our LORD Jesus, Whose faithfulness convinces our souls. Our enemy and our flesh will seek to pick away at believing in God above all things, but we must remember in those moments to ask God to strengthen our feeble knees and to grant us faith. The Nike slogan, “Just Do It” can be helpful to inspire athletes to pursue health goals, but it does not have the power to motivate long-term a consistent determination like the power of the Holy Spirit that believers can call upon. Here lies before us today a decision: will we trust God or be tossed to and fro? Be determined, my friends. Choose to praise God in all seasons and experience the joy and fruit that determined praise brings.
Lord, I praise You! I believe You are in complete control over everything and choose to trust in You! I praise You with all my heart and pray that You will awaken Your bride to be determined to praise You and reach this world with Your love.