Perseverance is not an easy thing. As Christians, when we think of perseverance we think of biblical examples of suffering and faith like Job, Jeremiah, Paul, and of course, Jesus himself. But if we look at the lives around us, we can see perseverance everywhere, and also the rewards that come from it.
A child perseveres learning to read and write and is rewarded with unlocking vast amounts of knowledge. A young athlete perseveres through multiple weeks and months of training and is rewarded with strength and discipline. A new mother perseveres through comforting crying babies and disciplining willful toddlers and is rewarded with a relationship to an obedient child. An old man perseveres through the death of his faithful parents, siblings, and spouse, and is rewarded to see them in paradise.
It’s a common mistake as someone is struggling to tell them about a person who struggled more or struggled better in order to give them perspective. Struggle is relative to age and experience, and while perspective is an important tool, encouragement is usually a better one. Even a small struggle, when faith and perseverance are applied, produces the fruit of maturity and a lasting perspective that comes from experience.
Perseverance, no matter how big or small, always produces. We are in a time of increased perseverance and you can see it just by going through Facebook or talking to your friends and loved ones. Funerals, weddings, graduations, summer activities, corporate worship, all either gone or drastically modified. The amount of differing information and opinions in politics and science causes fear, anger, doubt, and insecurity. Loneliness, depression, and anxiety are on the rise. Perseverance isn’t easy, but our God won’t let it go to waste!
We will be made more mature, and more complete, if we faithfully persevere through hard times. James 1:4 encourages us: “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.”
To the lonely, to the depressed, to the anxious, to the angry, to the confused, to the insecure, to the grieving: Remain faithful! Let perseverance do its work! When we come together to worship again, let the fruit of that faithful perseverance be obvious as we lift our voices in worship to glorify the one true God. I am truly looking forward to it!