Oh sure, we have times in our lives when we need to persevere, and where we have done so quite well, but it’s not normal, or usual behaviour for us. I find it very easy to just say “Oh to heck with it!” and either drop what I was doing, or find an easier shortcut.
This is also the reason why I have areas in my life that are abounding in mediocrity – I just give up too easily when things get too hard for me.
Giving up, however, is not an option in our walk with the Lord. Our faith in God means that despite the pressures we may be experiencing, despite the fears we may be facing, and despite the conflict we may be enduring, we hang in there.
It is certainly difficult at times to “feel” our faith – yet we know that faith is built on the knowledge of the Lord, not how we feel at any given moment. Thank God for that, otherwise, we would be just as James described – merely waves being tossed about by the wind.
Rogers Thesaurus gives some interesting synonyms for the word perseverance: “tenacity; constancy; single-mindedness; unfaltering; unflagging; indefatigable; hold out for,” and many more.
What struck me, was how all of these are traits that we can apply to our Christian lives. In fact, we are called to do so.
“I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:14 NIVUK)
And there it is, the promise for holding fast. There is a reward for those who remain faithful despite opposition, rejection, or negative circumstance
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love the Lord.” (James 1:12 NIVUK)
“The crown of life.” Wow! I can think of no greater reward for following my Lord despite what I am going through. And that is my prayer for you – that despite what is happening, you will “hang in there” and be “unfaltering” in your faith.
As we move into the New Year of 5779, God is going to reveal so much to those who remain faithful. Now that is something to look forward to.