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Perseverance is one of those words that seems to spark fear, courage, anxiety and some mystery all at once. Most people want to know “how to” persevere.  Do I just suck it up and keep going?  Or is there something more to it than that?  I believe that “our perseverance” is built upon “God’s perseverance”.  I don’t believe we can do anything in and of ourselves, by our own power.  Anything we do must be done through the power of the Holy Spirit.  The following passages give us a Biblical foundation:

 

Lamentations 3:22-23 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;  23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

 

Romans 5:1-5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we1 rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

 

 Perseverance defined: (1) as a basic attitude or frame of mind patience, steadfastness (2) as steadfast adherence to a course of action in spite of difficulties and testings perseverance, endurance, fortitude (3) with a component of hope and confidence expectation, patient waiting

 

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

James 1:4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

 

We can think of persevering in several different areas of life:

Persevering in your walk with Christ.  In believing the gospel and its promises.

Persevering in loving people.

Persevering in your marriage.

Persevering in raising your kids.

Persevering in your vocation.

Persevering in ministry, service and sacrifice (Leading your Community Group).

Persevering in suffering.

 

Perseverance is not pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps, it’s not just hike up your skirt and stick it out, it’s not just relying on your own personal resources.  Perseverance is grounded in God’s perseverance of us.  God has pursued us, and is sticking it out with us.  One of God’s character qualities is perseverance.  We can persevere because He has persevered for us.  His Holy Spirit has been poured out into our lives and this is what creates perseverance in our lives. 

 

Perseverance lives in the present and pushes us into the future.  The present reality is that life is difficult, sin-racked and full of suffering.  But the present also contains the steadfast love of the Lord.  The present contains the Holy Spirit empowering, forgiving, controlling, encouraging, delivering, saving, redeeming us so that we can persevere.

 

Perseverance pushes us into the future.  We know that tomorrow is a new day, we can start over if we need to, we can put the past behind us and keep trusting in Christ’s grace.  While tomorrow’s suffering may be greater than today’s, the testimony of God’s grace today promises me that He will take care of me tomorrow.  The future also holds the end of all suffering when Christ comes to take us home.  The hope of glory pushes us to persevere.

All for Jesus,

Fletch

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