I have laboured and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 2 Corinthians 11:27 (NIV).
Perseverance is the tenacity to keep on keeping on. It’s energetic resistance, steadfastness under pressure, and endurance in the face of trials. It’s both an inward and an outward work. And it’s staying true to our calling by being disciplined in the way of God.
Christ is of course the ultimate example of perseverance. He endured the cross so that we could be reconciled with God.
The Apostle Paul is also a great example of perseverance. In 2 Corinthians 11:16-33 we see how Paul persevered because he was dedicated to one end – to bring glory to God. Paul knew it didn’t matter what people thought of him or did to him. His motive, theme, goal, reason and purpose was to give the Lord glory in everything he did. That’s because Paul knew he was converted, called, and convicted to do nothing less than to live unswervingly in the way of Jesus Christ.
It’s easy to talk the talk. But can we walk the walk? Being a Christian is more than a promised loyalty. Paul was a man who hung in with God through thick and thin. He endured physical, emotional, spiritual and relational challenges. Are you dealing with overwhelming challenges? Persevere! Are you struggling with health, financial or relational matters? Persevere! The true measure of a truly Christian man or woman is his/her ability to stay true to God. Never give up on God – hold onto Him under every kind of pressure.
An old proverb says: “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” So how do we grow in our capacity to persevere? Here are some suggestions:
- Be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)
- Seek God with all your heart (Psalm 119:10)
- Do what God’s Word says (Joshua 1:8; James 1:22)
- Watch your life and doctrine closely (1 Timothy 4:16)
- Focus on what God has promised (Hebrews 10:36)
- Remember you will receive the crown of life (James 1:12)
- Rest when you’re weary (Isaiah 28:12)
- Hope in the Lord (Isaiah 40:31)
- Bring your burdens to God (Matthew 11:28)
- Know that when you are weak, God is strong (2 Corinthians 13:9)