Breakthroughs. We all want them now & then.
“Breakthrough” has been defined (dictionary.com) as:
- a military movement or advance all the way through and beyond an enemy’s front-line defense
- an act or instance of removing or surpassing an obstruction or restriction
- an act or instance of removing or surpassing an obstruction or restriction that removes a barrier to progress
Is it no wonder we celebrate a breakthrough? Who of us does not want to advance past an obstruction that is blocking our progress in an area? Certainly we have witnessed, if not experienced for ourselves, these breakthroughs:
- the student finally excelling in that subject that always seemed to get the best of you
- the parent finally getting that baby to sleep through the night – even if it is one night a week
- the same parent getting that same infant to sleep later than 5AM
- the sales department finally hitting a record sales month
- the person that finally breaks a habit or addiction
- the dieter losing those extra pounds
- the applicant hearing back that you got the job after a long interview process
There are all kinds of breakthroughs. No matter which we experience, they are always cause for celebration. Why is that?
It is hard work to get to the point of a breakthrough.
I think Paul may have been waiting for a breakthrough a few times. He tells us that he was in prison OFTEN, was flogged severely, was exposed to death again & again, was beaten with rods, stoned, shipwrecked, spent a day & night at open sea, was in varied dangers & knew what it was to be sleep, food, water, & comfort deprived. He was surely a man in need of a breakthrough!
He is probably the perfect person to teach us what to do when we are in such a position – waiting for that breakthrough to come:
- “Therefore we do not lose heart.” (2 Corinthians 4:16 NIV). Interesting words, “lose heart”. It means, “to give in to trouble, to become exasperated by difficulty, to be defeated in spirit, discouraged.” (New Testament Lexical Aids). We do not give in to those situations in our lives. We press on, in faith, holding onto God’s Word knowing that “we are MORE than conquerors” (Romans 8:37).
- “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 NIV). Those words, “not become weary”, are the same word as “lose heart” in the Greek. We are told in this verse that we will reap the fruit of our efforts if we don’t let ourselves collapse & give up in the situation.
If we are in need of a breakthrough may we be encouraged by these Scriptures & hold on. The breakthrough may be hard work & a long time coming, but it is on the way!