Let the distant shores rejoice. (Ps. 97:1)

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS, with his crew on August 3, 1492, sailed from Spain with excitement at the prospect of opening a new trade route to Asia. Columbus had no guarantee of success, but his journal describes a divine imperative in making the journey. Several instances brought severe testing of his resolve, and with them the possibility for discouragement to end the journey in failure.

Just three days in, on August 6, a broken rudder and suspicion of sabotage led Columbus to realize that not all the crew were in support of his voyage. Terns were seen on September 14, leading to a belief that land was near, but none was spotted. A few days later the wind stopped, leaving them helplessly adrift in the middle of the Atlantic. There were several more false sightings of land over the next two weeks, and finally on October 10, the crew’s confrontation with Admiral Columbus and his “fool’s errand” nearly sank the entire journey. Columbus argued and vehemently expressed his determination to go on, which they did, and two days later on distant shores far from Spain they all rejoiced.

We are often tempted with discouragement. Betrayal may challenge our resolve. Eager for land we might see only terns, or languish without a headwind. Rest assured, when we press on with determination, we will rejoice on that distant shore.

In the midst of discouragement, plead with God for determination.

Bill Beck, with wife Lisa and daughter Katie, enjoys life in the Black Hills of South Dakota.