8. Always Keep Growing Stronger

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Someone much older and wiser than me once said, “Silently and imperceptibly as we work or sleep, we grow strong or we grow weak; and at least some crisis shows us what we have become” (B. F. Westcott). He added that crises “do not make heroes or cowards; they simply reveal them.”

So, what kind of man are you becoming? Are you becoming a man of backbone, boldness, determination, durability, faithfulness, fortitude, grit, guts, mettle, moxie, patience, persistence, resilience, resolution, stamina, staying power, steadfastness, straightforwardness, stick-to-it-iveness, tenacity, and toughness?

What’s more, do you know the meaning of adversity, bravery, conviction, discipline, endurance, fearlessness, gratitude, hardship, insult, joy, keeping the faith, listening to the Lord, motivation, never giving up, oppression, perseverance, quietness, righteousness, strength, trustworthiness, understanding, vibrancy, wholeheartedness, expectation, yearning, and zeal from the Lord?

9. Ask God for a ‘Barnabas’

My favorite biblical character is Levi, nicknamed Barnabas (“Son of Encouragement”). Barnabas was a close friend of the 12 apostles of Jesus, the apostle Paul, doctor Luke, and many others. My favorite verse about Barnabas says “he was filled with joy, and he encouraged the believers to stay true to the Lord” (Acts 11:23 NLT). I love the fact that Luke starts by saying “he was filled with joy.”

What a gift of God to have such friends. I’m richly blessed. One such friend is Lt. Col. Larkin Spivey, U.S. Marines (retired). After we had known each other for a few years, Larkin gave me a large, colorful, specially-minted coin. It’s called a Marines challenge coin. It’s an honor and, yes, a challenge to live up to the ideals represented by such a gift.

Imagine the power and rich blessings you will enjoy when God gives you one or two such friends.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages

David Sanford’s book and Bible projects have been published by Zondervan, Tyndale, Thomas Nelson, Doubleday, Barbour, and Amazon. His newest book is Choose Courage: 3-Minute Devotions for Men.