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Perseverance

Have you forgotten your New Year's resolutions?

  • Jan 1 resolutionsWhat happened to your diet, your fitness plan?
  • What happened to your resolve to be more organised at work or home?
  • Or your plan to keep a diary?

We very quickly give up on most of our resolutions. They prove to be too time-consuming, too tedious or too challenging.

We find it difficult to persevere.

  • What of your walk with the Lord and your relationship with Him?
  • Have you lost your initial enthusiasm and momentum?
  • Is it tempting to forget about being a Christian except on Sundays?
  • Maybe problems and pressures are getting in the way of your taking a quiet time with God?
  • Or perhaps you are discouraged because God seems distant?

To persevere is defined by the Concise Oxford Dictionary as
"to continue steadfastly, to actively pursue".

We are called to persevere and to "endure" which is defined as
"to withstand prolonged strain".

How can we help ourselves and each other, to persevere?

Perseverance must be a positive process on our part.

It requires an act of will. 1 Tim 6:11 tells us to

"flee from all ungodliness and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness".

We need to take active steps to flee from things which get in the way of our perseverance. This may require some changes in our lifestyle and prayer for God's help to pursue those godly qualitites which will help us to persevere.

We have a faithful God who is willing to help us.

Hebrews 10:23 reminds us

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope that we profess, for he who promised is faithful".

Even when God feels distant from us, we need not rely on our feelings but we can trust his promises of help.

He is a faithful God. The same passage in Hebrews reminds us too, that we have our brothers and sisters in Christ to encourage us and spur us on to love and good deeds.

We need the fellowship of meeting together running the race if we are to persevere.

At this time of the year, training seems to begin in earnest for the London Marathon and many other charity races. Running a race requires training, discipline and perseverance.

The book of Hebrews uses the picture of the Christian life as a race and urges us to throw off hindrances and the sin which readily entangles us and to run with perseverance the race marked for us (Hebrews 12:1).

In the previous chapter we are reminded of the Daniel, Noah, Abraham and Sarahmen and women who have persevered and are commended for their faith.Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Samson, David

We can be encouraged by reading their stories. Reading and knowing God's word will help us to grow in our knowlege of His grace and His loving purpose for us and will help us to persevere.

 

We are called to persevere in prayer.

Ephesians 6:18 reminds us to

"pray in the spirit, on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests."

Persevering in prayer, an ongoing dialogue with our heavenly Father, will help us to draw on all his resources and find the strength we need to keep on going.

Does all of this sound like hard work?

If you are struggling with problems or feeling that He is far from you, trust in His invitation in Matthew 11:28

"Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, and you will find rest for your soul."

Yoked with Christ we can persevere in spite of our circumstances.

Jesus reminded his followers that even when they faced persecution, hardship and hatred

"he who stands firm to the end will be saved" (Mark 13:13).

James 1:12 also reminds us of the crown of life which God has promised to those who persevere. Colossians 1:21-23 assures us that Christ has saved us, reconciled us to God and will present us as holy in God's sight if we persevere, established and firm in our faith.

Let us continue steadfastly in our walk with God and encourage our sisters in Christ to persevere too, remembering that ... God is faithful.

Maggie, Hayes Lane Bromley