“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” – Romans 5:3-4 (NIV).
In every life, there will be moments when you have to endure. In every Christian journey there will also be times you have to endure, but with a fundamental difference: the Christian endures with hope, purpose, and victory. God calls his followers to persevere, to walk forward in faith, trusting God even when trials and sufferings come. Fortunately, perseverance is a godly muscle that we can flex and strengthen.
The Bible is full of stories of men and women who persevered. The apostle Paul often wrote about perseverance. If anyone demonstrated endurance, it was Paul. He urged believers not to tire of following Christ, even when persecuted. He’d been beaten, stoned, whipped, driven out of town, shipwrecked, reviled, and abandoned. Despite having a thousand reasons to put perseverance on hold, he continued to trust and obey God. Then there is the story of Jacob. In Genesis 32, we read a story about Jacob wrestling with an angel; He would not let the angel go until the angel blessed him. He received that blessing through perseverance. Perseverance is a spiritual tool that can be obtained and strengthened.
You have to fail to persevere. Everybody fails. It may be your fault it may not be your fault. You are not a superhero. We all make mistakes, we all have down times, we all fail sometimes. Persevering people decide to keep moving on. Paul said, “…I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Philippians 3:14).
1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” It says to be strong and immovable, always working enthusiastically for the Lord because nothing you do for Him will be in vain. In everything we face, God is with us. We are called to persevere, but God causes us to persevere. We are not strong enough in our own right to deal with all that life throws at us. Jesus is. The key to moving forward is to remember who is in charge. The only way to move forward is to put the Lord in charge and to keep Him there.
Perseverance is not a one-time event; it must become a lifestyle. It is something you will need to do continually if you are determined to succeed. Those who persevere will succeed because they refuse to give up. Our Christian life is a race to the finish line; we are not aimlessly running around as if we have no destination. In any race, the one who persists, who never gives up in the face of difficulties, will always triumph.
- In what areas of your life do you need more perseverance?
- What can you do this week to improve in those areas?