Let’s Talk About Perseverance
Perseverance means to persist especially in spite of the difficulties. James 1:12 says,
“Blessed is the man that 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 is telling God’s people not to give up. Seems lately there has been a spirit of hopelessness everywhere you turn. Mass shootings and suicides, for example, committed by people who decided to give up. People looking for a way out of their misery. I want to encourage anyone feeling hopeless or struggling to walk in faith. God formed you in His image and likeness and you have the power through Christ to not only endure – but also to overcome.
When God created us, He spoke blessings over us. Genesis Chapter 1:28 says,
“Then God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Did you know that the fact that God said subdue the earth indicates that there would be some perseverance required? Perseverance takes intentionality and determination – it’s a choice. We have to decide that no matter what we will persist, we will push through!
Situations calling for perseverance test us all the time – it could be a relationship, a business venture, even our diet and exercise. Sometimes, I imagine God just shaking His head at us as we give up on ourselves and others knowing that He gave us everything we could possibly need for success. It’s like when you’re watching a movie and one of the characters makes a huge and obvious mistake that causes some kind of catastrophe. You sit there watching and thinking “Really?? All you had to do was…”
I’m grateful that nothing surprises God and He knew our end before our beginning (Isaiah 46:10).
Building Character that Perseveres
I think the first thing we need to do is change our perspective on the way we look at challenges. Some of us get so deep and say things like, “The Lord said His yolk would be easy and His burden would be light (Matthew 11:30)” Then, we give up at the first sign of opposition. Let’s not take the Word out of context.
There is peace, assurance, and joy that comes with a life lived in Christ, contrary to the heaviness of sin. That scripture was not meant for us to always take the easy way out or lie to ourselves about the reality of hard work and sacrifice. We are victorious, yes, but we live in a fallen world and we have to overcome some things in order to get what the Lord has for us.
Most times it’s just our flesh, but nonetheless, we are going to face some real challenges. James 1:4 says “the testing of our faith produces patience and if we let patience have its perfect work, we will be complete.”
When our faith is tested, e.g., you lose your job and you’re dealing with extreme financial issues, at that point you have to decide whether or not you believe God. We have to look at these trials as exercise training. We should get excited when we face trials because we know God cannot lie – He has to provide all your needs according to His riches and glory (Philippians 4:19).
God can handle everything, but He needs to use your faith as a vehicle to get you what you need. When people go on a diet or begin a new exercise regimen, they don’t necessarily enjoy the change, but they know that the result will be the body they want or the blood test results, etc.
So, focus on the outcome. Whatever situation you go through, find it in the scriptures, meditate on the promise attached to it, and worship Him for that – because it’s yours!
Be Like Jesus, He Persevered
It’s easier to change your perspective on the trials you face when you get a revelation of your identity in Christ. When you spend time with Him – through reading, prayer, and fasting, you gain understanding and wisdom to the mysteries of God. Then, the power of the Holy Spirit rises up inside of you on the tough days when you’re ready to throw in the towel.
God tells us in the Word that we were created to have dominion and predestined to sonship (Genesis 1:28; Ephesians 1:4). When Adam, the first man fell, sin entered the earth, making all flesh subject to death (Romans 5:12; 8:10). Now, in Christ, we have redemption through His blood and righteousness through the Spirit (Ephesians 1:7; Romans 8:10). Jesus reconciled us back to our original state of dominion, but we have an enemy, who seeks to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). The Word says we need to be sober-minded because the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). If we don’t know who we are, and whose we are, we will fall for his lies.
After getting a revelation of who you are in Christ, you begin to call things that be not as though they were. Anything you see in life that doesn’t align with what the Word says can be canceled in Jesus’ name. The Bible says the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). We need to speak the Word in faith to destroy the works of our enemy.
My pastor said on Sunday, “Sometimes God hinders your prayer life because it’s time to make decrees! It’s time to take authority”.
So, What’s The Play Call?
- If you are feeling guilty because you’ve given up on something you know you need to do, start again! If you needed a sign this is it (lol)! If God has given you the ability to take on whatever He put in your heart to accomplish – you’ve got this!
- Decree and Declare! No matter what it looks like, there is life and death in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21).
- Church support and life groups can help you push through when you want to give up. Talk to people, get a mentor, share what’s on your heart and the Lord will minister to you through the words of another teammate’s testimony.
Be Blessed and Persevere!