Phil Fischer with Jesus Lives – a devotion on “Perseverance”
Perseverance is a life skill for the body and spirit.
Children are taught to persevere by setting goals and facing their challenges. By doing so, they learn the joy of fulfilling an ambition through hard work and practice. They can’t push a button and suddenly know how to play the violin or bake a cake. They must experience the lesson and gain knowledge as they meander through the learning process.
Kids take to heart a sense of accomplishment and learn to carry on when life gets difficult. Perseverance teaches us to problem solve. Making lemonade out of lemons is an important lesson in life.
The Holman Bible Dictionary defines perseverance as the ability to maintain Christian faith through the trying times of life. We are certainly living through trying times and we need perseverance to live each day.
God tells us that there is a great reward for those who persevere through tough times. In fact, our faith is tested so that we can grow in perseverance. The reward of this testing is that we mature spiritually. Even more amazing is that scripture tells us that once we have let perseverance finish its work, we will be complete and not lack anything. What an inspiring promise!
“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. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:3-5 (NIV)
Regarding a Christian’s faith, we are advised to add goodness, knowledge, self-control, and perseverance. Godliness will spring forth from lessons that require perseverance. Furthermore, as we allow these qualities to increase, they will keep us from becoming ineffective in our knowledge of Jesus.
“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV)
Since children learn from their surroundings, they become excellent observers. They’re always watching adults. We need to be aware of their keen surveillance. We are role models whether we are parents, aunts, uncles, teachers, neighbors, or the Saturday night babysitter.
We have incredible opportunities to demonstrate the love of God through our actions.
When you are hit by frustrating circumstances, how do you respond? How do you manage difficult situations while several pairs of eyes watch your every move? Do your children see calmness as you face troubles? Have they witnessed the power of perseverance covered by grace?
Will your neighbors see peace and faith as you manage the unknown day by day?
Can our ability to persevere without fear or bitterness lead us to people and provide us with opportunities to share the Gospel? Yes! Indeed, God will use every circumstance for His glory. Please consider what God is teaching you through this historic time then ask Him how He wants to use you for His glory. Let perseverance finish its work inside of you so that you are fully equipped to plant seeds, water them, and bring in a spiritual harvest. Amen!
“Looking unto Jesus, the author, and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV)