We need to persevere to come to our new beginning. Quitting is so easy for us to do. No matter what battle we are going through, to achieve victory, we need to keep at it. In 2 Kings 13:18-19, Israel is faced with attacks from the king of Aram. King Jehoash (also known as Joash) goes to Elisha, and the prophet tells him to take a bow and arrow and shoot the arrow out of the window. Elisha told Joash that the arrow represented God’s arrow of victory over Aram and that he would defeat the Arameans at Aphek until they were destroyed. Our Bible Journaling verses today tell us this, “Then he said, ‘Take the arrows,’ and he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, ‘Strike the ground,’ and he struck it three times and stopped. So the man of God was angry with him and said, ‘You should have struck five or six times, then you would have struck Aram until you would have destroyed it. But now you shall strike Aram only three times.’” As we read further in the chapter, we find that three times Joash defeated the Arameans and took back cities that were taken from Israel.
Elisha was upset with Joash because he quit. Now, Elisha didn’t tell him initially how many times to strike the arrow but knowing that the arrow represented God’s arrow of victory against Aram, Joash should have struck the arrow many more times to represent total defeat of the Arameans. Instead of persevering and continuing to strike the arrow, he limited himself in victory over his enemies.
Do we do that? Do we quit before we achieve victory over whatever battle we are engaged in? God calls us to battle, whether it is to win victory over something that hinders us or it’s a battle against sin that we see around us. The key to victory is not to quit. Joash would have completely destroyed the Arameans had he continued to strike the arrows. In a way, he was limiting God in that, God gave him victory only three times, instead of destroying them. Just like Joash, we need to “keep on keeping on.” When we give up before we have reached our goal or gained a victory, we do ourselves more harm than good.
Galatians 6:9 tells us, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (NIV) We will achieve victory if we continue to do what God is calling us to do. James tells us, “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12 NLT) We can win those battles that have been placed in our pathway if we only continue to persevere, and we will receive rewards for our endurance. God may be taking us in a new direction, and our reward is a new beginning to which He is leading us.
Let me encourage you to continue with perseverance. What God is calling you to do may be hard, but the reward will come if you just keep at it. Keep striking your arrows and don’t quit!