“You have heard of the perseverance of Job.” James 5:11 NIV
“Perseverance is your refusal to accept things the way they are as being permanent.”
My thoughts today encourage you to, “just persevere.”
Whoever was less complaining than Job? Brian Zahnd has recently written a book, “What To Do on the Worst Day of Your Life.” If Job lived today, he could be the author of that book. Job lost his herds and flocks; he lost his children; he lost his health, and even his wife told him to give it up! He had lost everything, except his trust in God. Want the rest of the story? See Job 42:10-17.
Perseverance is not stubborn resignation to an endless reality; it is a refusal to accept things the way they are as being permanent. I guess it may sound simple to say, but when you don’t know anything better to do – just persevere! Even when everything that is happening suggests that you might as well give up – just persevere. Even when the nearest and dearest around you advise your doing so because no one else seems to care, maybe not even God – just persevere.
The person still standing hopeful after a long string of disappointments, struggles, and reversals is not necessarily the strongest or most stubborn. He or she may just be the one least willing to give up, until seeing what God will do. Keep looking only at the problem at hand or ahead of you, and you will find plenty of excuses to quit – reciting ample reasons for being tired and discouraged. Keep a clear focus on the possibilities, not the present reality. That’s what strengthens your resolve and bolsters your ability to believe and persevere.
Solomon wrote: “I have observed . . the fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle . . It is . . being at the right place at the right time.” Ecclesiastes 9:11 NLT. You may be at the right place, but if you do not persevere to remain there until the right time, you could miss what God has for you there.
Life is not a sprint; it is a marathon. A sprint takes speed and quickness; a marathon takes conviction and endurance. “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1 NIV. I received a note from a dear friend who has persevered the most devastating of personal circumstance for too many months. He wrote, “I try to remember what it was like before all this, but that seems so long ago.”
Have you ever felt like that? Maybe you feel like that right now, and wonder if you have enough strength to hold on a little longer. That’s the way things can feel sometimes, and actually often be. At those times, keep your eye fixed on the goal, and the One Who cheers you on and waits to reward your perseverance and celebrate your victory. See Hebrews 12:2-3 NIV.
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me – the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of His return. And the prize is not just for me, but for all who eagerly look forward to his glorious return.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8 NLT.
Fought – finished – faithful! That is what I want my God and friends to say about my life, and also about yours. “An inner strength inspires us to push on in the face of great difficulty. What can seem impossible is often possible with courage.” David Ben-Gurion 1886-1973, first and longest serving Israeli Prime Minister.
My prayer for you today is: keep doing what’s right, even when that seems hard and long.