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  • Writer's pictureJack Selcher

Perseverance


Jesus on the cross with a Roman soldier and four women around him

Wilma Rudolph was a sickly child whom polio struck at age five. She couldn’t walk without a brace, and doctors told her she never would. Her mother said otherwise, and she believed her mother.


Her first goal was to walk without the brace. At age nine she walked into a church without it. She wore an orthopedic shoe on her left foot until she was eleven. She said, “The triumph can’t be had without the struggle, and I know what struggle is.”

By age sixteen she represented Team USA in the 100 and 200-meter dashes. In 1960 she won three Olympic gold medals and was the fastest woman in the world.1


I have achieved more through my perseverance than my ability. Perseverance is a continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, opposition, or failure.2 We measure it by how much it takes to make us give up trying and quit.


If what we are doing isn’t working, we must try another approach, but not quit.  Spiritual perseverance is essential to do the good deeds God has planned (Ephesians 2:10). A great cloud of witnesses surrounds us. The writer to the Hebrews challenges us to persevere in completing our assignments (Hebrews 12:1).


About five years ago I started posting my blogs on Facebook. For several months no one engaged with them. No one. I kept experimenting and learning. I began boosting my blogs and used other approaches that made them more effective. I persisted.


Between December 28, 2023, and January 11, 2024, more than 109,000 people engaged with one of my blogs on Facebook. When God gives us a passion for a certain ministry, we must do it heartily as to the Lord and not become weary and quit. Let’s consider what the Bible says about perseverance.


If we live for Christ, we will experience opposition, difficulties, failures, and suffering. Our sufferings purify us.


I make fishing lures by melting lead in a special pot. The impurities float on the surface of the molten lead, and I remove them. Then I pour the purified liquid lead into a mold to shape it into something useful for fishing.


The heat of suffering produces perseverance. Perseverance shapes our character and yields hope and confidence that God will do what He promises. (Romans 5:3–4).


We glory in our sufferings because of the fruit they bear. Our character is more important to God than our comfort. I prefer to skip the heat of suffering and the opposition that makes perseverance necessary, but God knows best.


Peter spells out some aspects of Christlike character, “Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone" (2 Peter 1:5–7 NLT).


The New Living Translation translates perseverance as patient endurance. Jesus is watching us. He applauds our refusal to quit (Revelation 2:2, 19).


Suffering tests our faith. “For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing” (James 1:3–4 NLT). That is why the Apostle Paul boasted about the perseverance and faith of the Thessalonians (2 Thessalonians 1:4).


Because the Lord is full of compassion and mercy, He blesses and rewards those who persevere as He rewarded Job’s perseverance by restoring to him more than he had lost (James 5:11).


Paul writes, “May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ” (2 Thessalonians 3:5 NLT).


That is godly character breathing. We are channels of God's unconditional love, and Christ empowers us to continue expressing it. #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources #freechristianleadershipresources 



See free spiritual growth resources for Christians at https://www.christiangrowthresources.com


God has empowered me to write His Power for Your Weakness—260 Steps Toward Spiritual Strength. It’s a free devotional, evangelism, and discipleship resource. Pastors have used it in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia to lead more than 2,400 people to faith in Christ and teach the basics of Christianity to 4,244 people. I invite you to check it out. https://www.christiangrowthresources.com/his-power-for-your-weakness 


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