The best way I’ve personally found to handle change — both the change that comes whether I want it to or not and the change I take initiative to make — is to lean on that which does not change.
When Nehemiah was presented with an opportunity to bring about change, he could have simply ignored the internal tug. Nehemiah is often studied for his obvious leadership characteristics such as integrity, humbleness, courage, compassion and focus.
Nehemiah traveled over 500 miles to lead change with a group of people who were stuck in brokenness for over a decade. Nehemiah’s approach to change, as directed by God through prayer, can teach us a tremendous amount about how to make change in our own lives. Whether we are in need of complete rebuilding like the walls and people of Jerusalem in Nehemiah’s time or we recognize the call of God in our hearts to institute change in some way, these key provide a solid approach for managing that change.
DISCUSSION: What other keys do you find essential for lasting change, either by way of experience or through another’s example?
After the credits for The Avengers and each related movie (Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and Thor) there’s an extra clip that shows further connections among the movies.
This idea of persistence, waiting through the monotony, translates well into our spiritual lives.
Jesus’ reason behind telling the persistent widow story is explained before the story even begins. And at the same time, I must realize that my ability to know His will and to believe in faith that He will answer comes from Him.
In the post How to… Be Persistent, we looked at the role persistence plays in obtaining victory in our lives.
Praying “at all times and on every occasion” develops your ability to be persistent in all areas.
Knowing your convictions before you need something to stand on keeps your ability to be persistent strong. As I thought about persistence and how it exists in my life, I realized that it didn’t pop out of nowhere. DISCUSSION: What does knowing God’s view of persistence do for your desire to never give up?
My health journey has involved a tremendous amount of sorting through good and bad information. My sources of information included the internet, doctors, magazines and books along with friends and acquaintances going through similar situations. The idea that small changes made over time add up to make a huge different certainly applies here. Through this process, I learned several lessons that others can use to obtain knowledge in a way that promotes growth and health as an individual. Know thyself. I wrote in my journal regularly to help sort out what I was feeling physically, mentally and spiritually. In Hosea 4:6 we read that the people were actually being destroyed by a lack of knowledge and that the leaders (priests) had actually rejected necessary knowledge.
DISCUSSION: How does the difference between knowledge and information fit in with this discussion? In my health journey, which really began in early childhood, many unknowns led to constant frustration. The way to a victorious life over depression and general ill health came largely through the role persistence played, lessons that anyone can learn to apply to any situation.
Throughout this journey, I remained driven to discovering the root cause for my ill health.
Victory within our individual lives comes from inside and shows outwardly in how we live our lives. Victory isn’t necessarily about winning the race or game, but it does involve running “in such a way as to get the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24).
In the coming weeks, we will look at each of these elements using the context of a health journey I took over the past 2 ? years. Nehemiah also provides a tremendous example of how to institute lasting change that endures through struggles.


Nehemiah asked the king for help, he asked the people and leaders of Jerusalem for help, and he found creative ways to continue the work even while opposition threatened. Nehemiah had a plan, a specific purpose, and a steady persistence through difficulties, obstacles and discouragement. Nehemiah consistently prayed, stayed organized and remained resourceful. Consistency shows reliable character, a necessary element for lasting change, and that’s the type of person others will follow through change.
Most importantly, Nehemiah’s example of anchoring himself in an unchanging God provides the single most important key for change to truly endure. Yet, my family and I have learned to wait until the lights come on in the theatre before getting up to leave. Of course, turning off the movie or leaving the theatre before the credits finish means missing the extra. Even if you fast forward through them, like we do at home, getting to the extra clip still takes time. Elijah prayed 7 times before rain came. What if Elijah had stopped praying before the 7th time?
Without Him giving me the ability to be persistent, I’ll continue to miss out because I’ll continue to leave before the lights come on.
In today’s post, we’re discussing the basis for that persistence that is necessary for anyone to Be Victorious in this life. This maturity and unity provide a foundation for persistence that keeps you able to “hold to the truth in love” as you become more like Christ. When struggles come, your beliefs and convictions give the hope needed to stay faithful (2 Timothy 1:12). While doing good sometimes seems fruitless and selfishness seems to be the way to prosper, don’t not lose sight of the fact that God does bless those who do good (Galatians 6:9-10). Persistence seems to be an integral part of who I am, and I believe that is true for everyone. That means that persistence can rise up again as we realize that God encourages as well as gives motivation for being persistent.
The goal, of course, involves obtaining knowledge from positive sources that helps us grow. So how do we obtain knowledge that helps us grow and at the same time avoid accumulating knowledge that is not edifying? As I collected information and through the process of trial and error, I slowly made changes mentally, physically and spiritually that brought me to a place of health and wholeness.
Simply refusing to give up is half the battle toward obtaining knowledge that promotes healing.
From the waitress at the coffee shop to your pastor, anyone can give a tidbit of information that provides a small step in your journey. The hope of deliverance from the pit of depression kept me moving forward and pursuing knowledge. Regardless of the situation, a lack of knowledge creates a severe handicap that leads to an unproductive and sometimes hopeless life. Our culture likes to treat symptoms, and true wellness continues to evade us because we fail to dig out the root cause. Turns out that the concept of a root cause exists for most areas of life in which we struggle, and my struggle to victory in the area of physical health really created a template for discovering victory in other areas as well.
Persistence led me not only to victory with my physical and mental health but also with my spiritual health too because I learned to rely more and more on Him – the True Vine – to bring my health and wellness. Throughout the Old Testament, we see numerous examples of victories brought by God to those who honor Him.
Once we have ultimate victory through Christ and the freedom that comes with it, how do we then live victorious lives? My hope is that the elements involved in my journey to victory in this area will become tools others use to find their own path to victory. Please know that I fully believe that real, lasting victory in any area is only possible through God’s Holy Spirit working in and through an individual.
Nehemiah’s example during this transformation gives several points to consider regarding how to institute lasting change in our own lives.


When Nehemiah heard that the city walls and the people’s connection to God were in shambles, he chose to take action. You’ll find resourcefulness present in the lives of all great leaders and heroes because change rarely happens in its absence. Yet, persistence pays off in giving a preview of a coming sequel or a connection you might have otherwise missed. This was the purpose of Jesus telling the parable of the persistent woman, and I suspect that this is a reason behind the story about Elijah too. We’re going to look at the instructions Scriptures give us regarding persistence, including reasons to remain persistent as well as motivation for doing so. Keeping connected to Him and His Word develops your confidence in Him to supply all your needs. Consistency in this area provides the basis needed to be consistent in all other areas of life. Having a plan to follow takes away the emotion factor and allows you to move forward even when you feel weak and tired (Hebrews 12:12). Rather, the solution to my struggle with depression and other nagging health issues involved knowledge gained from a variety of sources.
Refuse to discount any information until you have had time to pray over it and to corroborate it with additional sources. I felt, and still feel, I can deal with any physical ailment as long as I’m stable mentally. More than that, there is simply a lot of information coming at us constantly.  Take in information in bits and pieces and avoid taking in so much that you can’t process anything. Emotions led me to a place of despair, but I would always start up again when my feelings subsided. When I became a parent, persistence finally awoke in me as I realized that depression was not a legacy I wanted to leave my children.
Through a lot of research and digging, I finally discovered that the root cause of most of my health problems – including depression – was an undiagnosed food allergy and several intolerances.
Eventually, I wanted health because of what it would do for me and the happiness it would bring. And for every Christian, ultimate victory – the victory over sin, death and the devil – came through Christ alone. Before he took any action, though, he anchored himself on the eternal God who never changes. We live in an instant-gratification society that has taught us we don’t need to be persistent to get what we desire. Above all, as our knowledge of Him increases, He gives us opportunity to increase in knowledge in all other areas of our lives.
Once I started addressing this root cause, health like never before became the norm for my life. God changed my motivation to wanting to be healthy in order to be a good wife and mother and even more so to glorify Him.
I learned that my physical and mental health was intimately intertwined with my spiritual health. Within all of this, I kept a focus on growing spiritually, knowing this was the glue that held all else together.
Gradually, I learned that even when I was tired and weary, I could put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward. As I learned to focus on His will for my life, I discovered that a healthier life existed within the path He directed me down.
When I learned to make plans and then let the Lord direct my steps, I learned that I could make right choices outside of my emotions.



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