“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12
The dictionary defines “perseverance” as “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.” And I am terrible at it! I have heard more about this subject in the last week, than in my lifetime. God is telling me (and you all) to persevere!
It is difficult to fight or work towards something when most things in society are instant or takes minutes to receive. How many times have I yelled at the microwave to “hurry up!” when only 30 seconds has elapsed? Losing weight or exercising? Ha! Forget it, I want to lose 15 pounds in a week, instead of exercising and eating better for months.
While, I am learning how I need to embrace perseverance, one of the pastors at my church had a sermon on this very subject. He brought up several points as to why most of us cannot do it. He gave the church a list as to why we “quit the race” (I have experienced and done these things to myself in any situation that seems difficult).
- Fatigue and unbearable pain
- A lack of support
- Constant questioning from critics
- Comparison of ourselves with others
- A sense of personal inadequacy
- A dryness in our soul
God reminded me of a time when I pursued something difficult and it was worth it. In college, I took a class called, “Human Physiology”. While I loved the subject matter, it is straight up difficult! It was the hardest class I took my entire time in college. But I had to do it. If I gave up, my college career could suffer. I studied more for that class in that semester. The final was a killer too. I ended up with a B+ in the class. It was the hardest B+ I ever worked for in my life. But the satisfaction I had for working hard for those 3.5 months was greater than taking the easy route and just giving up.
Jesus is our greatest example. Our pastor pointed out Hebrews 12:1-3. We must keep our eyes set on Jesus. We will stumble if we look at our circumstances or to ourselves. Suffering is what brings us maturity in our Christian life. So, don’t ever give up!
Lesson Learned: All good things take time to develop. Nothing good happens in a hurry. Pain is going to be there sometimes and it will end up strengthening us all the way.
“Dear Heavenly Father, give me strength to endure hard times. Show me how I have come through with your guidance. Forgive me for the times of giving up so quickly. Show me when to pursue things and when to be done. Thank you Father. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”