Someone once said, “There is no such ‘instant maturity’ available in this earth. God does not offer a formula that produces fully mature Christians overnight. Christian growth comes through hard-core, gutsy perseverance of applying what you hear and obeying it.” There is nothing else that will do in this life except hanging in there through the power of the Lord! Think with me, if you will, about five (5) questions concerning perseverance.
- What is perseverance?
The word perseverance comes from a Greek word that means, “To abide under; to bear up courage.” This tells us that perseverance is not avoiding difficult situations but rather being able to go through them gracefully. Of course, this is only done by the grace of God.
- When is perseverance needed?
Perseverance is needed in various times of life: times of trials (Romans 5:34; James 1:2-4), persecution (I Peter 2:20), running the Christian race (Hebrews 12:1-2), chastening (Hebrews 12:5-7), bearing fruit (Luke 8:15), and living the Christian life faithfully (Romans 2:7). Actually, perseverance is something that is needed all the time. It is only attained by abiding in Christ (John 15:1-8).
- How did certain saints demonstrate perseverance?
Job was faithful when all that life him offered was stripped out from under him (Job 1:13-22, 23:10-11; James 5:11). Josiah was faithful in serving God without deviating from ___?___(II Kings 22:2). The Apostle Paul was faithful under all kinds of hardship and persecution (II Corinthians 11:23-29; II Timothy 4:6-8).
- What are the values of practicing perseverance?
The benefits are astounding: personal maturity and character (James 1:2-4), a glorious crown (James 1:12), strengthening other believers (II Timothy 2:10; II Corinthians 1:3-4), and a wonderful future reign with Christ (II Timothy 2:12). It is indeed worth it to remain faithful!
- What are the keys to maintaining perseverance? Four key thoughts are necessary in maintaining perseverance.
To begin, we should have a desire to not let others down. We should want our testimony to not be tarnished. Others are watching our lives (II Corinthians 4:7-15). We don’t want to be a stumblingblock.
Next, we must realize that we are not wasting our time in staying at it. Remember God will reward us (I Corinthians 15:57-58)!
Take time in the Word of God. This is absolutely necessary if we are going to be victorious (Job 23:10-12). By the way, the Devil will always try to keep you and me away from the Bible. Don’t let him have this victory!!
Finally, we must keep our eyes on our precious Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12:1-2). If our focus is right we will end up where we want to be—faithful to God.
President Calvin Coolidge once said, “Press on. Nothing can take the place of persistence. Talent will not. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not. Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not. The workforce is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are overwhelmingly powerful.”
Dear man of God, you and I must be tough in all circumstances through the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay at it always. We absolutely must be constant in our service to our glorious Master. By God’s grace we can be and we will be!!