Why Do We Persevere?
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints…” Ephesians 6:18
“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5-8
There are many words in our language that defineperseverance. Here are a few.
persistence, determination, grit, resolution, diligence, resolve, drive, purpose, tenacity, dedication, devotion, endurance, steadfastness, firmness,
But what is the Biblical meaning? It can be and is the sum of all these. Yet, Perseverance is one of the least taught, least, preached, least written about of nearly all the attributes of the Christian walk of faith. Why? I believe it is because we are living in a time when the only people who seem to be truly committed to their cause are those inspired by evil rather than by good. But we who are called by the name of the Lord need the character of perseverance, particularly in these last days as we see the world around us becoming less and less accepting of the truth that God is and that Jesus Christ is His only begotten Son and the Savior of the world. In the not too distant past generations, even unbelievers acknowledge that the ideas of God and Jesus were ideas to be reckoned with seriously.
The Billy Graham Crusades were major events held on six continents from 1947-2005, some 58 years, where he boldly and consistently persevered to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. Over the course of his life and ministry he was criticized, threatened, ridiculed, called a charlatan, falsely accused of being a heretic, censored and not allowed to speak in certain countries because of the uncompromised presentation of the Biblical truth of Jesus Christ that characterized his preaching. Yet, he still persevered to the very end of his life to make known the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ and Him alone.
There are many areas of our lives where we need the quality of perseverance. Socially is one of those; how we interact with others and how we bear witness of our faith to the world in every day living. There is also the essential need for perseverance in our faith at the dimension of our own hearts and minds. So much of this world competes for our attention and devotion in opposition to the call of God to live in continual and constant communion with the Father and the Son by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us.
The cares of this world, and the constant drumbeat of messages in nearly all areas of public life are intended to make us believe that all the supposed inadequacies in our lives only need the remedy of this or that product; eat this, don’t eat that, take this supplement ,this pill, this beverage, use this therapy, call this law firm, wear these clothes, own these socks, wear this copper infused brace, apply these cosmetic; and of course, you need this car, that SUV with these amenities, you have to have the right smart this or that, get the next big thing, invest in gold, invest in silver, save a lot, spend more, take this vacation, download the latest whatever, and on it goes, in ever increasing volume, intensity and threats of how lost, sick and deprived or dying you are going to be in the future without them.
Is this how God intended for His creation to live? Is this the rest that we have been called into? No. Absolutely not!
Jesus invites, calls, adjures us to enter into His rest and to come unto Him all who labor and are heavy laden and He will give us rest. In our time that too will require perseverance because our minds and hearts have for so long been tethered to the things of this world it is hard to imagine finding any sense of peace or rest without them.
This is not to say that we should go find some remote undiscovered pristine place on earth untouched by technology or industrial inventions that have made our lives more livable, nor should we decline to make use of the amazing advancements and discoveries that have added to the quality of life we get to enjoy. No. God has called us to such a time as this, to be His Ambassadors in this world, and He has freely given us all things to enjoy. But, we must persevere not to let the things replace our need for communion with Him in all things that we do.
Now are we the sons of God. This is not a statement of gender superiority of men over women. We are ALL sons of God in that through Jesus Christ we, both men and women, have been made equal partakers of the blessing of the only begotten Son.
“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26
The only requisite for becoming a son of God in the Kingdom of God is to be led by the Spirit of God, accepting and confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord and believing in our hearts that God has raised Him from he dead.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” Romans 8:14
Therefore as sons of God we have a new identity, a new purpose, and a new dimension of empowerment to be the voice and example of Jesus Christ in the world. The implications and significance of that revelation are profound indeed. As we persevere to take hold of our calling and to live as those who are in the world but not of it, the more genuinely will our message resonate with those who are lost and seeking the one true Savior of the world.
Therefore, develop and exhibit perseverance as a fundamental attribute of our new nature in Christ.
“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.” 2 Peter 1:5-7
Perseverance — persistence, determination, grit, resolution, diligence, resolve, drive, purpose, tenacity, dedication, devotion, endurance, steadfastness, firmness