Steadfastly Persevere

Life is made up of many moments – happy moments, sad moments, successes, failures, and disappointments. Many of these moments though have the the potential to seriously damage us if we are not prepared for them. It’s easy for us to get carried away by a single good or bad moment and let it color everything – to let it consume us and get lost in the emotions involved in the moment. We get so lost and carried away that we forget ourselves until we begin to feel the consequences of our actions and forgetfulness. It’s then we see that we must change. Unfortunately, though, sometimes we realize it too late to easily rectify the damages.

By God’s grace and infinite wisdom, He has provided us with specific instructions and tools to help protect us from losing ourselves in these moments. God tells us in the Quran in chapter 57, verse 23 (57:23) to not grieve over anything that we miss nor be proud of anything that He has bestowed upon us. Taking heed of this crucial advice guards against all the possible ways that Satan and our own ego can cause us to lose ourselves in the moment.

[57:23] Thus, you should not grieve over anything you miss, nor be proud of anything He has bestowed upon you.  GOD does not love those who are boastful, proud.

When we are blessed with success we may become elated–or as God says in Quran 11:10, “excited, proud.” We could become thrilled by the success and revel in it. Those who are conscious of God remember to thank Him for His blessing (and we cannot thank Him enough). Regardless of which category we fall into, after a moment of gratification, it is easy to begin to see everything in light of that success. We think that it is the beginning of a continuous upward climb and that whatever hardship we suffered up to that point will never touch us again. So with this mindset, we may gradually forget and begin to take things for granted. We put in less sincere effort in maintaining what we have. We begin to think that the provisions and circumstances that we are enjoying now because of God’s grace, will never end. This is because we end up taking God for granted. Eventually our forgetfulness and subsequent unappreciativeness lead us to new hardships and it’s then we realize that we’ve become unappreciative.

[11:10] Whenever we bless him, after adversity had afflicted him, he says, “All adversity has gone away from me;” he becomes excited, proud.

When we suffer any adversity, lose something, or find that we are unsuccessful in our attempts at a particular goal, we may become consumed by despair. We may start to believe that anything we attempt will fail. We lose all hope and motivation, resigning ourselves to believing what Satan tells us – that we are failures, weak, stupid, incompetent, worthless, losers, etc. This way of thinking is very negative and may have more far reaching consequences. It is also the hardest of the two mentalities – thinking either nothing or everything will fail – to escape the longer that it goes on.

If we let ourselves slip into either state of mind for a prolonged period of time, it becomes very difficult to carry out anything, especially when it comes to worshipping God. That’s why throughout the scriptures God repeatedly encourages us to steadfastly persevere in all aspects of our lives. So to succeed we must steadfastly persevere. We have to learn to accept and appreciate the blessings as they come with grace and humility without allowing it to lull us into complacency. We must learn to succeed without losing our focus, drive, and determination.

We have to learn to accept our shortcomings, failures, and losses with serenity and grace, so that we do not allow it to darken our view and rob us of hope and the desire to strive. At the same time we have to learn to appreciate these events for the lessons that they can teach us, and the weaknesses that they point out to us. As we learn to appreciate these moments of failure we are better able to strive toward our goals and toward God, in a better, more efficient and enlightened manner.

[3:186] You will certainly be tested, through your money and your lives, and you will hear from those who received the scripture, and from the idol worshipers, a lot of insult. If you steadfastly persevere and lead a righteous life, this will prove the strength of your faith.

[11:115] You shall steadfastly persevere, for GOD never fails to recompense the righteous.

And from the Bible:

James 1:12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

Luke 21:19 By standing firm you will gain life.

Brothers and sisters in faith and humanity, let us continuously struggle and strive towards our goals and towards God, fighting through adversity, pain, loss, stagnation, and complacency.

Revelation 2:10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.

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