“Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage” (Ps. 84:5, NKJV).
There came a moment in my life that Holy Spirit breathed into my spirit a new description of spiritual resilience. He called it “holy stubbornness.” There was a reason He was giving me this new branding of an ancient concept. I needed it for the battle raging around me. It was the only way I was going to come out on the other side victorious. I needed to determine in my heart that, by God’s empowering, I was going to be more stubborn than the enemy. Sheer holy stubbornness was going to keep me in the fight no matter how much I was bleeding.
Psalm 84:5 tells us that there is a blessedness that encompasses a determined believer – one “whose heart is set on pilgrimage.” There are seasons in all of our lives when we must resolutely, tenaciously set our heart on the finish line. During those times, it will seem like all of hell has turned out in the war against our joy. Battle after battle after battle in seemingly unending succession will pummel our will to continue. The testing of our faith will at times feel agonizing. It will be in those moments that we must lock our teeth on God’s promises like a bull dog. No matter what is unleashed against us, we simply can’t let go. Holy stubbornness must possess our souls as yet again we lean into Holy Spirit’s admonition:
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Gal. 6:9, ESV, bold emphasis mine).
If we do not give up! Sometimes, it’s all we can do to put one foot in front of the other, or even one knee in front of the other as we crawl forward. But we simply can’t give up. Harvest really is coming!! This season of difficulty and distress WILL NOT LAST FOREVER!!!
We know we can endure and pull through to victory because Jesus went before us, showing us how to do it – in the weakness of a human body, complete with the vulnerability of human emotions. Isaiah foretold His suffering with so much detail that the passage reads more like a historical narrative than a prophecy. In the verse following his prediction of Jesus’ beard being plucked out, we read this cry of our Savior’s heart:
“Because the Lord God helps me, I will not be dismayed; therefore, I have set my face like flint to do his will, and I know that I will triumph. He who gives me justice is near…” (Isa. 50:7-8a, TLB).
Do you see it there? Holy stubbornness. “I have set my face like flint to do His will.” Determination as immovable as a rock. Jesus was resolute, unyielding, unwavering, steadfast. No matter what the cost, He was going through with it. He saw the triumph on the other side of the pain. He saw you in His arms forever. Nothing, absolutely nothing in all of creation, was going to stop Him from obtaining that intimacy with you.
Is there a war raging around you right now? The Spirit of Jesus is one with your spirit, mighty warrior. Let His holy stubbornness rise up on the inside of you in this moment. Set your face like flint. Raise your voice and cry out with Him, “Weeping may last for the night, but joy is coming in the morning! I know that I will triumph! He who gives me justice is near!” Bite down like a bulldog; sink your teeth into the unfailing promises of God; and never, ever, ever let go!
Do you have any personally gleaned insight about not giving up even when most everything inside of you wants to? I’d love to hear your wisdom in the comments!