Today I feel to talk about “perseverance.” What springs to mind when you hear that word?
Often we recall a lengthy struggle that we are continually trying to hold up under. It doesn’t normally make us feel joyous to think about perseverance. Many of us right now are persevering through some very difficult circumstances. “Well done,” if this is you, because “perseverance” is a moral quality worth pursuing.
But, to persevere at something is often not that enjoyable. As a pastor, have to persevere at forgiveness – letting go of stuff and not holding grudges when insult comes my way. My fleshly instinct is to defend myself and fight back! But that’s not God’s way. In this “supermarket” world we live in we have many options, and when the going gets tough we often choose to pull out of the righteous race and choose an easier route.
As we journey through 2 Peter, the apostle encourages Christians to make every effort to persevere, in pursuing righteousness, 2 Peter 1:6. Perseverance takes effort and is often required from our already-depleted-basket! But Paul reminds us in Romans 5:4 that “perseverance produces character, and character, hope.” So next time you feel like giving up on something that is God’s will for your life but is also a struggle, remember that you are becoming more like Christ by choosing to hang in there. James 1:4 says that “perseverance must finish it’s work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
God bless us as we continue to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” Heb 12:1.