Seven Biblical Principles on How to Hang On

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. — 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV)

Seven Biblical Principles on How to Hang On

Is life getting you down? Do you feel like you’re at the end of your rope? Here are seven Biblical principles on how to hang on when you feel like you’re at the end of your rope.

Principle One: Remember God Loves You

  • Don’t lose heart! – Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. — 2 Corinthians 4:1 (NIV)
  • I am what I am – But by the grace of God I am what I am, … — 1 Corinthians 15:10 (NIV)
  • It’s not who we are. It’s whose we are! – Remember our performance does not give us our worth.
  • God’s grace gives us the power to start over. – Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. — Romans 8:37

Principle Two: Keep a Clear Conscience

  • Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. — 2 Corinthians 4:2 (NIV)
  • We must have integrity.
  • We must have character.

Principle Three: It’s Not All About You

  • For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. — 2 Corinthians 4:5 (NIV)
  • Your ego will only take you so far.

Principle Four: You Cannot Do It All

  • But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. — 2 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV)
  • We must pace ourselves. Life is a journey, not a sprint.

Principle Five: Love, Love, Love

  • All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. — 2 Corinthians 4:15 (NIV)
  • Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever. — Psalm 136:26 
  • The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. — Zephaniah 3:17
  • For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. — John 3:16

Principle Six: Learn to Refresh, Renew,  and Revive

  • Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. — 2 Corinthians 4:16 (NIV)

Principle Seven: Keep Your Eyes on the Goal

  • For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. — 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NIV)

Remember — You’re less likely to create if you don’t face your troubles and hang on until you reach your goal.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Writer’s Life: The Personal Nature of a Rejection

Click on picture to read rejection email.

You’ve heard it all before … never take a rejection personally … send out that manuscript (poem, story) to another market and keep on keeping on when you get the rejection.

We’re constantly told by day job co-workers, family and friends that less than one percent of all writers “make-it”. “Make it” is defined as being able to quit the day job and live on the earning from their writing.

You know the stories. You’ve heard the tales. You could share all the negative garbage well-meaning others have dumped on you.

It’s hard not to take the rejection personal. I received two rejections this week. One was especially hard to accept. The magazine had sent me an initial email back in January saying they liked the short story enough they were referring it to a “review committee”. I wish they had never told me it was going to the review committee. That got my hopes up just to be shot down two months later.

I chuckled a little when the rejection email arrived. I had this bizarro version of Sally Field’s second academy award best actress acceptance speech come to mind. I could see myself with tears streaming down my face screaming “you hate me, you really hate me”.

I knew they were illiterate and didn’t recognize good speculative fiction … then I was honest to myself … it didn’t meet their current needs. I knew what I had to do. I would rework it, pray over it and ship it out to ambush the next unsuspecting editor.

The editors have a heck of a job, don’t they. I would hate to read all the wanna be writer fiction they get.

What am I trying to say? Hang in there. In the last week I sent the first five chapters to a publisher who only agreed to read them because one of her authors recommend me to her. This is either a kind, courtesy read by the editor/publisher or a massive example of good luck or providence on my part.

On the flip side, I am looking for some computer contract work to help pay the bills. I have two writing conferences I want to attend later this year. I need a sale or two, a contract with a nice advance, or some contract work to get the needed conference money. One of the conferences is near my home in Dallas, Texas this September. It is the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Conference.

Even if you’ve heard it before I want to remind you — don’t give up your passion for writing. I was told in a  college senior level creative writing English class that it takes about 10,000 hours to master a craft. That’s true for playing the guitar, piano, writing poetry, or writing the next great novel. If one works 40 hours a week for the 52 weeks in a year that’s only 2080 hours. 10,000 = 5 years+ of full-time work.

So, get to writing … and master your craft. I’m still working at it. As an editor told me back in the 1980s … you’re not the best writer, but you write saleable copy, write to specification, and meet deadlines. It’s writers like you that will ultimately succeed. I’m still trying … and I’ll make it.