Keep Going, and Going…March 29, 2020
The Bible is a textbook on perseverance. From Adam and Eve to the Apostle John on the island of Patmos, enduring life’s hardships is the hallmark of a life with God. In the scriptures, perseverance is demonstrated…it is bemoaned…it is encouraged…and it is blessed. James tells us that it even brings rewards.
We are a strong people, born with a pioneer spirit and a dogged endurance. We are ready to tackle each and every day with life and vigor. Nothing will detour us from the destiny of our days! Do you feel like that? Yeah, neither do I.
Now there are some days when I feel I could overtake the gates of hell, but they aren’t the norm. Most days, it’s a flat out struggle to make it through. Perseverance…even the word itself brings shudders of trepidation and caution. Red flags go up when someone tells us to simply push through. But what we really want is out, not through. And therein lies the problem.
The word perseverance means, (to stay under, to bear, to have fortitude; to patiently suffer (ouch!), to cheerfully endure.” It is not that we enjoy trouble and tribulation…it is that we have joy through tribulation. Hebrews tells us that we should “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross” (Heb.12:2). He certainly did not enjoy the cross, but persevered for the joy of the cross and the joy of what it would bring.
So why persevere? Because through it we bear fruit (Lk.8:15) and a firm hope (Rom.15:4). It leads to eternal life (Rom.2:5-7) as it produces godliness within us.
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope (Rom.5:3-4)
We are actually commanded to pursue perseverance. We seem to genuinely have a desire to pursue lovely things like peace, love, faith, gentleness, and even righteousness. But pursue perseverance? We tend to shy away from that. But in God’s eyes the pursuit of all good and right things is equally important. (See WORD WISDOM for a deeper study of gentleness)
But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, gentleness. (1 Tim.6:11)
Take a deep breath…we are not left alone in this. We have divine help. We persevere in Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit! As Jesus is our example of victory in perseverance, so must we be an example for others.
That the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance;…that they admonish the young…” (Titus 2:2, 4).
We need to keep going, and going, and going so that others will go too.