PURSUE THE PASSION: Perseverance happens when the preparation has been done. The hard work continues both in mind, body and soul, and we must find a way to not give up until reaching completion. The definition of perseverance is a steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc. especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles or discouragement. It is easy to stay comfortable, to do things that are easy, to remain in a routine of what we’ve been doing all along. But in Acts 20:24 NIV it says, “However I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace.” Keeping this scripture in mind as we take on our purpose, when we face adversity, it is those challenges that grow us and teach us to endure, causing us to rely on God, bringing us into a deeper faith in Him.
WHAT WE LEARN FROM JESUS
There will be obstacles and opposition. We will fall but we must pick ourselves up and keep going. Realizing victory is ahead, things can get in our way, distract or hinder us in our fight, but we must keep pressing on, keeping our eyes on Jesus. “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast,” - 1 Peter 5:10 NIV. We are part of a bigger plan, a mission that puts God’s glory at the center of our lives displaying to those around us, it is because of His strength we can continue the good fight.
Perseverance should not be self-driven, but it must be God-driven. Who do we listen to? How do we decipher which voices to hear amongst the many? Sometimes this will be difficult. We must remember that we cannot lean on our own understanding or pursue things that are of our own desires. This is where we lose heart and find ourselves broken, unable to continue on. Why? Because we are human, in need of a Savior who is driving everything we do to point to Him, His strength, His love, His talents.
Get uncomfortable. When we step out of the boat, we are stepping into faith. It won’t be easy, being a Jesus follower never is . There will be times we think we know where He has us going, but we need to be flexible and flowing with God, because sometimes He willnudge us in another direction. One way or another we can overcome our fears and the challenges set before us, even if we must surrender. Surrender does not mean defeat. Surrender means giving in to what God wants for us.
- Do you ever feel like you just can’t go any further? That your cross might be too heavy to carry? Share a little about how you get back up and keep going.
- Who are the people in your life that help you keep going when you face tough challenges? List their names and praise God for each of them. Are there ever people who hinder you from going on, even if they have the best of intentions? Jesus tells His mother, “I make all things new.” What do you say to those who may stand in your way or distract you from finishing the task you’ve been given?
Pursue Perseverance: There will be days we feel like giving up, after facing tough challenges, falling down or even receiving rejection. Inspiration and strength to carry on comes from Jesus, His examples, His words of hope. Ephesians 6:10-18 gives you instructions to put on the full armor of God. Today is the day to put on that armor and begin to fight like the warrior God created you to be. After you have read through Ephesians and suited up, do something you have put off or decided was just too hard for you to accomplish. Maybe it’s signing up for a new class, or trying out for a sports team, or calling on a job you might have had your eye on. Remember, when it looks impossible and it feels unreachable, then you’re probably in the right place because God wants you to rely on Him and not yourself. He wants to press you into your full potential.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” - 1 Peter 4:10-11 NIV