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A Time to Persevere

October can be a difficult month in education. The school year begins with renewed zeal, fresh ideas, and inspired plans. But within a few months the stresses involved with decision-making and people management sap the energy stored from the summer. Students don’t succeed as we planned. Parents express concerns. Differing priorities between colleagues leads to friction and misunderstanding. For the graduate student, course deadlines and assignments loom. The optimism of a fresh start can give way to a grim reality. Are teaching and getting my master’s degree worth it?

Paul reminds us that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against…the spiritual forces of evil” (Eph. 6:12). Satan knows that the fatigue of long days and hard work leaves us vulnerable to quick tempers, rash judgments, and harsh words. He tempts us to believe that people are the problem and to treat them that way. He puts a wedge in our relationships to hinder the gospel of Jesus in a Christian school.

God reminds us that “those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31). It’s rest for the soul that renews our zeal and re-inspires our ministry. When the spiritual forces of evil make their moves, take time for an honest self-assessment of your ministry and humbly lay it before Jesus. Let his blood cover your shortcomings, and let God’s forgiveness fill you will a love that overflows to students, families, and colleagues.

Concerning those spiritual forces that seek to overthrow Christ’s kingdom, Elisha reminds us, “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (2 Kings 6:16). With the Lord’s help we can persevere, and the gospel we proclaim will bear fruit.