Change Is Possible … It Just Doesn’t Happen Overnight - Encouragement for Today - April 11, 2024

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Lysa TerKeurstApril 11, 2024

Change Is Possible … It Just Doesn’t Happen Overnight

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“… make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance …” 2 Peter 1:5-6 (NIV)

No matter what your struggle has been, victory is possible today. Sadly, most of us don't think that's true. The problem is we tend to measure long-term success while downplaying the absolute victory found in small successes.

Honestly, I need to remind myself of this. For instance, I’ve been trying to be more active lately by setting a goal of walking 10,000 steps a day. In some moments, I just don’t feel like fitting an extra walk into my busy schedule, and I can start to convince myself it doesn’t really matter. But the truth is that each step is a victorious small success as I focus on moving my body.

Now, I’m not saying I’ll be ready to run a marathon this year, but by building upon the small successes of simply showing up for myself — choice by choice, day by day — I’ve seen positive change in my physical, emotional and mental health.

This principle applies to other struggles as well.

  • If I choose not to be snappy with my kids and instead respond with tenderness, that's a victorious small success.
  • If I choose to pause before responding to a rude sales clerk and give her a smile instead of being harsh, that's a victorious small success.
  • If I choose to give my friend the benefit of the doubt rather than jumping to the conclusion that she meant to hurt my feelings, that's a victorious small success.

I like the way our key verses talk about this:

“Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance …” (2 Peter 1:5-6).

Here, Scripture reminds us to “make every effort to add” some things to our faith. Think of this like a muscle. We have muscles as a part of our bodies, but we must add activity to those muscles to use them effectively and gain strength. In most cases, our muscles will work for us as we exercise them. Goodness, knowledge, self-control and perseverance will also work for us as we practice them over and over again.

I don’t know what victory looks like for you. Maybe it’s a thought pattern you’d like to stop ruminating on. Or a habit you’d like to build to memorize more Scripture. It could be achieving goals you have for your family or making changes you’d like to see in yourself. Whatever it is, I challenge you to name what victory is for you.

Here’s what I know: Sometimes victory seems so far away because we measure it only by our end goal. And end goals can seem overwhelmingly huge, daunting, and just plain hard to reach. Instead, if we start measuring victory by the smaller choices we make each day, it won’t seem so impossible.

  • Before you do 10 pushups, you have to do one.
  • Before you memorize a whole chapter of Scripture, you have to know the first verse.
  • Before you start living a more peace-filled life, you can stop that one anxious thought from ruining your day.
  • Before you have a better relationship with that person, you can have one better reaction.

You see, change is possible. It just doesn’t happen overnight.

Big things are built one brick at a time.

Victories are achieved one choice at a time.

A life well lived is chosen one day at a time.

Dear Lord, I know that with You, victory is indeed possible. Day by day and choice by choice. Help me to believe this truth today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Feelings aren’t meant to be fixed — they’re meant to be felt. Jennie Allen wants to help you discover how to lean into this truth with her new book, Untangle Your Emotions: Naming What You Feel and Knowing What to Do About It. Jennie will point you to biblical wisdom and therapeutic research that will help you whether you consider yourself an “emotional” person or not. And the best news is … Untangle Your Emotions is the first book selection for the brand-new Circle 31 Book Club with Proverbs 31 Ministries! This is your space to walk through life-changing messages with life-giving friends. Purchase your special edition of the book and join Circle 31 Book Club today so you’re ready to read with us on May 1.


Find real-life encouragement when you connect with Lysa TerKeurst here on Instagram.


Philippians 1:6, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (NIV).

How does this verse comfort you as you remember God is working in you and through you day by day?

We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.

© 2024 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106

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