How Do We Persevere?
As Christians, we often hear that we are to persevere. We see the perseverance of God's people throughout the Old Testament through captivity, famine, war. And that's all amazing, but how do we persevere? When everything is falling apart around us, and our heart is hurting, how do we keep pushing on? HOW DO WE PERSEVERE?
The fact is that perseverance is not something that happens from the outside, but rather from the inside. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” But what is conforming to the pattern of this world? Right now it would seem to have much to do with fear and strife. It would seem to tell us that we can't change anything, we can't win, so we should just give up. But that scripture says we should be transformed by the renewing of our mind. How do we become transformed? By renewing our mind. And renewing our mind happens in the Word of God. AND THERE IT IS
The beginning of perseverance. It starts inside of our mind. It is a shift in our perspective. When we begin to see our world through the eyes of God’s Word it changes everything. This change is too important to leave to chance. WE NEED TO BE INTENTIONAL There's no magic formula, but there are things we can do to help. 1) Know that God has created you with purpose
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 NIV 2) Trust that He has the power to keep you alive to fulfill that purpose
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3 NIV “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.” Jeremiah 32:17 NIV 3) Stay close to Him in your daily life, living according to the Bible
“Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8 NIV “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:22 NIV 4) Remember that He has a plan for your life, and continue to persevere when things get hard
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 NIV “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1 NIV BUT HOW?
The list above sounds great, but it's not always easy to stay in that headspace, I know. So, below are some tips to keep you on track. 1. Pray Daily - whether you have two minutes or twenty minutes. Just talk to God every day. 2. Read the Bible - stick with your Chronological Bible in a Year plan. And don't get discouraged if you get off track. Just jump back in. 3. Worship - you can worship at home, in your car, at church. Just be sure to do it. 4. Stay in Community - whether you are serving at church, attending a small group, or meeting with a godly mentor for coffee, stay in community. Community is where we are sharpened and challenged to grow. It is where we hold each other accountable. Life feels different when we have a sense of purpose. Knowing that God created us just as we are, for His plan, is a big deal. You can persevere through anything with confidence, knowing that He's got you.
Follow our Contributing Writer - Libbie Hall