In the last several years I've thought a lot about how Christians should respond to the pressures we face every day. We know that in this world we will have many trials. Jesus said as much in John 16:33, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." 

Both parts of that statement will be true in the new year:

You will have trouble in the world.
Jesus has overcome the world.

What do we need to stay strong in 2011? I can summarize it in three words. We need . . . 

Tenacious winsome courage.

Tenacious means we hang on to the truth that Jesus is Lord.
Winsome means we face life with a smile, not a scowl.
Courage means we do what needs to be done.

Tenacious means we keep believing when it would be easier to give up.
Winsome means we don't lose our temper and say something stupid.
Courage means we take our stand for the truth.

Tenacious means we keep on praying.
Winsome means we are cheerful when others attack us.
Courage means we do hard things without complaining.

Tenacious means we love people anyway.
Winsome means we display grace under pressure.
Courage means we speak up instead of wimping out.

We need all three qualities together to face what life throws at us. So perhaps this is a good Monday morning prayer. "Lord, grant me tenacious winsome courage as I go through this day. When I am tempted to give up, help me to keep going. Grant me a cheerful spirit when things don't go my way. And give me courage to do whatever needs to be done. In Jesus' name, Amen."

You can reach the author at ray@keepbelieving.com. Click here to sign up for the free weekly email sermon.