Text: Romans 4:17-21
“who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.””
Romans 4:18 NKJV
Most successful people have a clear and defined picture of their desired destination. It is this goal that generates a momentum and a motivation that makes them to impose restrictions for themselves. So, self-discipline is simply self-imposed standards, limitations and restrictions which are motivated by a desire which is greater than the alternative.
For example, an athlete may give up all forms of pleasure or self-gratification because of a desire to win a gold medal, which to him, is better than any other alternative. For us as believers, no goal should be comparable to making heaven and receiving an imperishable crown (1 Cor 9:26; Matt 16:26). This desire will motivate you to give up anything and to impose self-restrictions, to achieve it.
Likewise, for our Lord Jesus, it was the joy that was set ahead of Him, that was His motivation. Thus, He willingly gave up His right, His will and His life. The picture of that awaiting joy at His victory moved Him to endure the sufferings, persecution, insults, shame and the hostility of sinners.
“…who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.” (Heb 12:2-3).
You see, most people easily give up because they don’t have the mental picture of their desired end and so, nothing fuels their motivation (Prov 29:18). Thus, the picture of a desired end, creates an excitement within you that also drives you towards it. It also ignites a sense of purpose, giving you the enthusiasm needed to tackle challenges head-on.
According to our text, it was the picture of his unnumbered seeds and being a father of many nations that made Abraham impossible to be discouraged. God painted the picture in his mind (Gen 15:5; 17:5).
Friends, do you have a picture of your desired destination? This is what will fuel your motivation and help you to set standards and self-restrictions even in the midst of contrary hopes.
1. Father, please, paint the picture of Your desired destination for me in my mind as I meditate on Your word in Jesus name.
2. Father, let this picture help me to impose self-standards and restrictions in my walk in Jesus name.
1. I set self-restrictions in my life to achieve my heaven’s goal, which is far greater than any other known alternative.
2. I get the picture of my desired end through God’s word, which is the seed of destiny.