Who’s ready to get a little bit better? Let’s do this. Let’s get better. Life isn’t easy all the time, is it? Can I get a witness? Some of you have been hitting some challenges in your life that just keep stacking up. You all know what I’m talking about. When you start to feel that way, what do you do in that place? And here’s the question I want to answer for you because you might not connect the dots between the things stacking up and the hard stuff.
There is a cost to your calling. There is a cost to living your purpose, your destiny, staying on the path… whatever language you want to use, there is a cost. And sometimes that cost is the price most people aren’t willing to pay.
I’m going to share a Bible verse with you from Romans 5:3-5 in the passion translation.
But that’s not all! Even in times of trouble we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope. And this hope is not a disappointing fantasy, because we can now experience the endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us!
Here is the principle, there is a cost to your calling. The cost is when you hit trouble, pressure, pain and you can’t do what everyone else does. Normal people, civilians, the ones who are not living into destiny and calling, when they hit trouble, pressure, pain… What do they do? I mean, you know, because you, like me, used to be there. They give up, they run, they hide, they point fingers to blame others. You’ve heard it, if it wasn’t the economy, if it wasn’t the president, if it wasn’t my mom and dad.
When trouble, pressure and pain comes, you know the first cost of your calling is to not quit. Don’t quit. You know what that is? It is the beginning of you entering into the process. The process, it sucks. Yeah, there’s good stuff on the other side but when you are in it, it starts with that trouble, pressure and pain.
The first thing you have got to do in the process is you have got to patiently ensure. In other words: persevere, persist. You can’t quit. You can’t give up. You don’t have to be smart. You don’t have to be gifted. You don’t have to be rich. You don’t have to be the best. You don’t have to be the most connected. You just can’t stop. You’ve got to patiently endure because that word patience is kind of important because the process you are entering is never going to end soon enough for you. While we are in the process, that dialogue of get me out of the process, get me out of the suck is so loud. I just want to see my problems go away. My frame is that God is up in heaven saying we need to learn something. He doesn’t want to get you out of the process because in the process is where He does His best work for us.
Which leads me to my next point, which is that you have got to patiently endure. You are not going to quit, you are going to commit to continuing on the path because that’s where you develop character. You don’t know what you don’t know. You patiently endure, you go through the hard stuff and you realize what you thought you knew, you really didn’t know. And when you start to develop character, you start to see things in you that you didn’t realize were there.
Like, I really am a people pleaser (I am speaking as a recovering people pleaser, myself). You might realize, as I did, I am doing some stuff just to keep everyone else happy.
Maybe you realize that gosh, I didn’t realize it, but I was getting a little bit arrogant. I’d been so successful and I hadn’t had any bumps in the road… and I was looking at all these other entrepreneurs out there saying how hard it is… and I was thinking this is easy.
These realizations, these thoughts are what can happen when you get into the process. While in the process, you could be thinking they were right, this isn’t easy. But a truly successful person is not unfamiliar with the process because they have hit trouble, pressure, and pain. When they meet those conditions, they make a decisive decision to say, I will not quit, I will choose to patiently endure. And as they choose to endure, then they get into some stuff and start to develop character in ways they didn’t know they needed to. They needed to develop some discipline, they needed to develop some humility. They needed to develop the hunger, the drive to go after and do the things they were called to.
We’re all going to have some ways that we need to develop character and here’s the good news… Once we patiently endure, we develop some character. This is the phrase that lights me up because it says a proven character leads us back to hope. Once you go through the process, while the process might suck, in the end it is going to lead you back to hope and back to a confident expectation. It is going to lead you back to your destiny, to your purpose, to your calling.
There is a cost to your calling. And that cost is not aborting the process, it is not running from the hard stuff. It is having the guts to patiently endure. It is having the guts and the humility to be shaped and have your character proven through some hard stuff.
Who doesn’t want to be led back to their path, to their destiny, to their purpose, to confidently expecting all the good things that before trouble hit were there on the horizon? When that trouble comes, that pain comes, that pressure comes, sometimes we start to doubt. I want to stand here today and tell you to never doubt your calling just because life got hard. That is part of life, life does get hard.
Don’t wish it was easier. Wish you were better. Truthfully, it has nothing to do with wishes. Do the work to get better to become the best version of yourself. That’s what I always talk about. Become the best version of you so you can give your greatness to the world. You can’t do that if it is an easy street, all the time.
Some of you are in the process right now, some of you just came out of the process… and some of you will be getting ready to go through the process. And if so, it is unavoidable. The storms, the trouble, the pressure, the pain… it is going to come and how you respond in the moment. That is the cost of your calling. Don’t quit, don’t pray to God to end the pain, problems, trouble… endure the process, it isn’t going to make it any easier. Embrace the process because you are becoming. You are releasing that greatness that is on the inside of you. You are becoming exactly who you were designed to be. I’m not say God made all the hard junk happen, but I am saying you can become a better version of you because you embrace the process.
So what is the cost of your calling? Embracing the process, don’t quit, don’t give up, patiently endure. Develop the character. Have the guts, have the courage. Do the deep work I am always talking about. Do the deep work that other people neglect and run from. Do the deep work because it is going to lead you back to hope, to calling, to purpose, and to destiny. And that is what I want for you. I want for you to be able to fulfill the calling, the destiny you were put on this plant to do so. I hope this has encouraged you. Don’t quit! Don’t give up, there is greatness on the inside of you. In fact, you should go out there and give your greatness to the world because somebody needs what is on the inside of you. Go out there and give it away!! Have a great day!