It was rather amusing watching my friend’s 5 month old infant girl (ya, had to be a girl!!) trying to sit up. She would keep pushing her nappy clad bottom up balancing herself on her hands and then she would keep trying to tuck one leg underneath in an attempt to sit by herself. As she falls without being able to make it, she would whine or even whimper. Yet it didn’t stop her.
I had also had the privilege of watching her succeed in her attempts to roll over both ways. The way she kept at this next step, I knew the breakthrough was closer than we could even imagine! And BINGO! She did it! I couldn’t help but marvel at this little infant’s perseverance. How did she know she could keep trying and that she would succeed? How often do we adults attempt something and simply give up at the first “failure”? Or even worse, how often do we adults not even make an attempt? Imagine how terrible it would have been, if we as infants didn’t persevere at each and every mile stone – from being totally dependent on our parents and others around us to go on to the next stages of ‘growth’ from rolling over to sitting up to crawling to standing and then onto walking? This was all in a ‘fragile’ stage. Yet the people around these tender ones rush to offer the helping hand.
Now that we are in the mightiest of hands, why are we so scared to keep at it when the going gets tough? Why do we get discouraged and give up so easily? Why do we so often allow external circumstances (fear of what others would say, lack of resources and whatever obstacles we see) to condition our thoughts? Why do we sob and wail for months or even years on end when we face sufferings as if it were something new to mankind?
Didn’t Jesus caution us that we will indeed have trouble? Isn’t the enemy just waiting for the opportunity to pull us away from God and thus hurl sufferings at us in the hope we will get disheartened and give up?
Paul tells us how to handle sufferings! Not easy but then again he suffered to the point of being imprisoned for his faith!
…… we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
perseverance, character; and character, hope – Romans 5:3-4
Suffering produces perseverance. Persevering is not an option..
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;
and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance;
and to perseverance, godliness;
and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. – 2 Peter 1:5-7
We are told to MAKE EVERY EFFORT! It’s a conscious decision which won’t come easy let alone naturally!
What is the reason given for the need to MAKE EVERY EFFORT?
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises,
so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires – 2 Peter 1:3-4
We need to make every effort to persevere amidst trials and against temptations so that WE MAY PARTICIPATE IN THE DIVINE NATURE! I’m not saying it – it’s in the Bible, in black and white literally!
The blessing of making every effort to possess these qualities is also explicitly mentioned:
For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure,
they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ – 2 Peter 1:8
- How many of you reading this post are ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ?
- How many of you are still craving for milk and running here and there to be fed like infants instead of persevering in your walk with Him depending on the revelation from the Holy Spirit?
I’m not saying it’s wrong to listen to messages and sermons. God has equipped all of us to be mutually edifying. However, the problem lies when all our time is spent going from one seminar / service to another… endlessly! There is another subset of us who are constantly trying to feed the brain neglecting the spirit.
- Do take a few moments to sit at God’s feet and allow the Holy Spirit to examine your heart – to reveal to you whether you are persevering or not – whether you are indeed possessing these qualities in increasing measure or not.
…. 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.
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.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart – Hebrews 12:1-3
Yes, sin will entangle and for that matter it is clearly mentioned that sin will so easily entangle. There will always be things that hinder. However the more our focus is on eternity remembering that life on earth is temporal, the easier it would be to persevere. Paul writes clearly “LET US FIX OUR EYES ON JESUS”. We are humans and we all fall short of His glory. He sees our struggles and our heart motives. The problem is when we convince ourselves that we are in the right and ignore the conviction of the Holy Spirit. We give the enemy a foothold and sure enough the load becomes heavier.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1-4
How often do people around condemn another that the struggles are because they have ‘sin’ in their lives? How often do you hear that if you are walking right in God, then all is hunky dory? Well, that surely isn’t from God or if it is, then Jesus, Paul, Job and most of the other biblical characters walked the wrong way as suffering was a very big part of the refining and preparation process. In fact God will continue to mould us till the very end till we are restored into His image completely!
Don’t get disheartened… Don’t allow other well meaning “Christians” stop you from walking in God’s perfect plan for your lives. Their approval may very well end up leading you in the opposite path. Discernment is crucial. Suffering and hence perseverance is an essential component of our lives – we ought to carry our cross DAILY.
… we consider blessed those who have persevered.
You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about.
The Lord is full of compassion and mercy – James 5:11
And guess what, this following verse is…. Oh I better not complete that. Instead, let me ask you! How does this following verse touch your heart? Leave a comment if you don’t mind!!
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