The dictionary meaning of ‘perseverance’ is a continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, opposition, obstacles, and setbacks. Perseverance is not giving up. Perseverance is to endure, to keep at it.
Few prophets suffered as much as Jeremiah did. Called by the Lord when he was young, Jeremiah was a prophet with a very difficult message, to very difficult people. The people of Judah wouldn’t listen. Jeremiah prophesied over forty or more years to a nation who were hurtling headlong toward judgment from God. His message of seventy years of captivity was unwelcome to the backsliding nation of Judah. Jeremiah did not have a single convert through all his years of ministry. Instead, for faithfully preaching God’s message, he was considered a traitor, a fanatic, scorned, beaten, and imprisoned, by his own people! In the midst of all this, Jeremiah persevered, he did not stop obeying God. He endured. Jeremiah kept faithfully doing what God had called him to do, often through bitter tears. He did not give up. His legacy is an entire book of the Bible.
Perseverance is a desirable fruit of the Spirit for every believer. But how does one keep at it, especially when the odds are against you? Ever wonder if it is even worth it?
Five reasons how you can and should, persevere:
- His Grace – God promises us His supernatural grace to meet our weakness. Grace is God’s ability to meet our inability. We give God our inadequacy, our weakness, He gives us His strength, His grace, which is sufficient for our every need (2 Corinthians 12:9). His grace enables us to put the next foot forward, to get to the next bend, to just keep on going.
- His power and might – He has not given us a spirit of fear. We are often overwhelmed and controlled by our fears. Fears that range from fear of cockroaches and creepy crawlies to fears about the uncertain future or even death, and everything in between. Fear can be crippling. But we have been given the spirit of power, and might and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Believe it, receive it, and move forward.
- His Word – As we face suffering and hardships, the Word of God gives us wisdom, understanding, and much-needed perspective. The Word of God guides us and gives us direction, shedding light along our way (Psalm 119:105). The Word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, judging thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12), keeping us grounded.
- His Indwelling Spirit – When we accept Christ as our Saviour (Romans 10:9–13), the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our heart, bringing with Him an entirely new life of love, relationship, and service to the Lord. God promises to put His Spirit within us and cause us to walk in His laws and decrees (Ezekiel 36:27). The Holy Spirit is our Counsellor, our Helper, our Guide to living out our lives each day and fulfill the purposes to which God has called us.
- His Presence –The Lord was with Paul, strengthening him when all others deserted him (2 Timothy 4:16-17). God promises to be with you and me and to strengthen us. When we have no one and nothing else to cling to, no one to help or support, in our darkest, most alone moments, God Himself will stand by us. What a promise and protection. What a source of help. He will strengthen us and ensure His purposes are fulfilled.
The reward for those who persevere, who do not give up but endure and overcome, is eternal. What a sweet reward indeed – to sit with the Lord Himself! It sure is worth it to persevere, in our walk here on earth!
Are you overwhelmed by your situations, do you feel like quitting, just giving up? Would you choose to persevere, even if, through His grace and presence, relying on Him and His Word for power and strength to endure?