Read this and other devotions by Cheryl Zelenka on her blog http://facingtrials.com
Perseverance helps one to overcome the greatest difficulties in life. Without a steadfast tenacity to press forward through challenging obstacles, conflicts, and unexpected problems we would never get anywhere or accomplish much. The problem with giving up without a fight is that we are told to run our spiritual race as “one intent on obtaining the prize.”
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.” 1 Corinthians 9:24 (NKJV)
Nobody wins a race if they lack endurance and the will to persevere through hindrances. We must finish the purposes God has purposed for us! Sitting down to rest is understood by our Father. Sitting down in hopelessness and surrendering to defeat signifies lost or damaged faith.
Google defines PERSEVERANCE as, “Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.”
“Steadfast literally means fixed in place, but is chiefly used figuratively to indicate undeviating constancy or resolution: steadfast in one’s faith.”
Obstacles should be viewed as challenges to overcome, opportunities to apply knowledge and surmount discouragements with the purpose of extinguishing all thoughts of defeat or hopelessness. We are victorious because our righteousness is rooted in Christ, and since He was victorious upon the cross and through His resurrection we share in His victory.
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 (NKJV)
Our Lord was obedient unto death. However, this does not mean He never grew weary or overwhelmed with the path set before Him. Three times He asked His Father if there was another way to save creation, beside His ordained crucifixion. He struggled with God’s perfect plan, but He always ended His prayers asking for God’s will. Jesus persevered in His obedience to God.
“Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.” Luke 22:42-43 (NKJV)
In the book of Romans, we are told that we are “more than conquerors” thanks to the love of God. We are to prevail, always trusting God’s purposes and plans for they never fail. All things are possible through the grace and power of God, including that which we deem to be impossible.
Weariness during adversity happens, but the truths found in the Word of God will always help to spurs you on. And even as angels were sent to minister to Jesus in His time of need, God will send ministering angels to you as well. Never grow weary doing what is right and just in the sight of God. He will reward your faithfulness and service with heavenly treasures.
Finally, there will be times when you slip and fall. God sees into hearts and knows your efforts to do what is right. When life knocks you down, Jesus will pick you up and set you back on your feet. It is then up to you to move forward with a steadfast heart, endurance, and a desire to persevere until you have finished your race. God will be cheering you on with every forward step you take.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4 (NIV)
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12 (NIV)
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
“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.” Revelation 3:10 (NKJV)
You will find this devotion in my upcoming book FACING STORMS: THOUGHTS OF WISDOM, PRAISE, AND PROMISE. Look for it on Amazon this December!