But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: — Daniel 1:8
Have you ever found yourself staring at your messy bedroom and thinking, “I am NEVER going to get this place cleaned up!” Or have you faced a math problem that frustrated you so badly that you began to think, “This is IMPOSSIBLE to figure out!” Well then here is a character quality that you might need to learn. It’s called Determination and it’s very important to Christians!
Determination is purposing to accomplish God’s goals in God’s time regardless of the opposition. In life there is always going to be trouble and difficulty. Math problems are hard, craft projects create big messes, cleaning the house is difficult, raking leaves seems endless. However, if God has allowed the “problem” in your life, then you can be sure that He will give you enough grace and strength to finish the job! What you need is a healthy dose of determination!
One of the best ways to display determination when an obstacle comes your way is to break down your task into achievable goals. You might look around at your bedroom and see disaster everywhere you turn. Rather than throwing your hands into the air and giving up, decide to finish the job in little steps. Start by picking up all of the laundry on the floor. Then stack the books neatly on the bookshelf. Next tackle all of the toys that are strewn about the room. Check the closet and straighten that up next. Lastly, look underneath the bed for lost items. If you break up your task into reasonable goals, your job will seem less overwhelming.
A big problem for girls when completing unpleasant jobs is distractions! The devil is good at sending distractions our way, especially when we don’t feel like doing what we are supposed to do. If you find yourself distracted by a favorite book or toy while you are trying to work, put the desired object away and out of sight so you are less tempted by it. If your sister is making too much noise while you do your schoolwork, ask to move to another room. If a particular friend of yours often encourages you to be lazy and shirk your responsibilities, then you need to sweetly ask her to stop saying those things or politely excuse yourself from conversation with her.
Lastly, when problems get difficult and it seems like you will never be able to finish, it’s important to pray and ask God for strength and then purpose in your heart to finish the job! It’s difficult to just tough it out and get the job done, but determination will cause you to use whatever energy is necessary to complete the project. My girl displayed a big dose of determination earlier this fall when we ran a 5k race together. There were several times when I could tell that she was tired and probably wanted to stop and take a break. But she had determined to run that race, and she stuck it out like a trooper! God will not allow anything (even fractions!) into your life that He won’t also give you a way to accomplish it. (I Corinthians 10:13) Daniel “purposed in his heart” not to defile himself with the king’s meat, and he relied on the Lord’s strength to accomplish that goal. Remember to pray to Him and ask for special strength!
Here are some verses about determination for you to study with your mother:
II Timothy 4:7:8
I Corinthians 16:15
Next time you are faced with a difficult problem, don’t wilt like a dead flower, stand strong like a hardy mum and finish the job! By this you will show that you a daughter of the King, all glorious within!