The 1828 edition of Webster’s American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines perseverance as:
- Persistence in any thing undertaken; continued pursuit or prosecution of any business or enterprise begun; applied alike to good or evil.
“ Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4 (NIV)
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.” 1 Corinthians 9:24 (NKJV)
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 (NKJV)
Patience and perseverance help to overcome the greatest difficulties in life. Someone without perseverance will simply sit down and give up when a stubborn obstacle appears. The problem with this decision is that we are encouraged to run our spiritual race as “one intent on obtaining the prize.”
How can you win a race when you have no endurance to persevere through hindrances? We must finish the purposes God has purposed for us. Sitting down to rest is understood by our Father. Sitting down and surrendering to defeat and hopelessness is not faith.
Obstacles should be viewed as challenges to overcome, an opportunity to apply knowledge to situations in order to vanquish discouragement and defeat. In the book of Romans, we are told that we are “more than conquerors” thanks to the love of God. We are to prevail and believe that God’s purpose and plan will always come to fruition. All things are possible through God, including what we think to be impossible.
Weariness will occur as you pass through this life, but the truths found in the Word will always help to spur you on to new good works. Never grow weary doing what is right and just in the sight of God. He will reward your faithfulness and service with heavenly treasures.
To be steadfast is to remain steady, constant, and unwavering in your purpose or mission. A Crown of Life is yours, if you remain steady in your walk with God. A weary heart can interfere with your race, so it is important to exercise your “spiritual muscles.”
Our spiritual muscles are strengthened by adversity. Trials serve to exercise our faith in God. They help to reinforce our trust in the Doer Of All Good Things. Reading your Bible daily will feed your mind with truths. *satan is called a liar and will try to defeat you with his deceit. With every doubt he throws at you, toss a promise of God back at him. In order to toss back scriptures of truth, you must know what is written in the Bible.
The spiritual armor of God was given for us to utilize. It is not to be tucked away in a closet. The SWORD, a part of the armor, is the WORD OF GOD and you do not want to enter any spiritual battle with a dull blade. When you feed your mind with the TRUTH, the Holy Spirit will faithfully call it back to memory so that you can apply it to your circumstance.
Finally, there will be times when you slip and fall. God sees into hearts and knows your efforts to do what is right. When life knocks you down, Jesus will pick you up and set you back on your feet. It is then up to you to move forward with a steadfast heart, endurance, and a desire to persevere until you have finished your race. God will be cheering you on with every forward step you take.
“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 him.” James 1:12 (NIV)
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 (ESV)
“Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” Revelation 3:10 (NKJV)
About the Author:
Cheryl Zelenka is a retired teacher, author, single mom, and brain tumor survivor. Her passion to encourage others with the Word of God is why she writes her Christian Encouragement blog, Facing Trials. She also writes devotionals for The Vine of Life News. Her first book, Facing Trials: Thoughts For Meditation will be available on Amazon in September. Her second book is a unique Bible Study called Divine Interruptions. Using the book of Job, Cheryl intertwines her struggle recovering from a brain tumor to his trial and the lessons he learned. You can find her on the web at http://facingtrials.com