Perhaps nothing is more necessary to living the Christian life than perseverance. If you want to live like Jesus, life will test you (John 16:33). For those who dare to call Jesus Lord, know your path will not be the easy way. You will need to develop firm resolve and require buckets full of perseverance to get through this life. We are not on our own here. God’s Word has much to say about perseverance, the need for it, and how to develop more.
If you’ve read and studied the Bible over the years, you are no doubt familiar with Job’s story. He had everything you could ever want in this world, and he walked humbly before God. In a flash, he lost everything. Wracked in pain and sorrow, Job persevered through the pain and refused to give up His faith in our holy God. He is an incredible model of what perseverance looks like in the life of a believer.
Perseverance requires us to hold fast to our faith regardless of the circumstances swirling around us. In this life, we will have wonderful times of joy and dark days of sickness, pain, and sorrow. God remains unchanged through it all. When things are going well, He is the good, loving, and almighty God. And when life gets hard and we begin to lose hope, He is still the good, loving, and almighty God. His changeless love and unflinching character should encourage us to not get too high or too low as we walk through life. Keep yourself on an even keel, knowing the rain will fall on the righteous and the wicked (Matthew 5:44-45). Thank Him for the blessings when things are good, and praise Him for His faithfulness in the middle of the storms.
The prophet Ezekiel called out three men from history for their faithfulness: Noah, Daniel, and Job (Ezekiel 14:13-20). If we want to increase our ability to persevere, we would do well to study the lives of each of these men. How did they respond to trials? What were their habits and motivations? Noah had to stand firm against all his neighbors, culture, and even logic itself. But he did not waver. Daniel refused to obey the decrees of men over those of God and ended up spending the night in a cave with some hungry lions for his reward. Still, he refused to bend the knee to anyone other than God. Job endured incredible loss and suffering but never lost sight of the mercy and kindness of His Creator. What distinguished men of God they were.
James, the brother of Jesus, reminds us to look at the life of Job to see how compassionate and merciful our Lord is (James 5:11). The lesson is if we endure all things (persevere), we will see the blessings and mercy of Christ on the other side of our struggle. God is faithful. No matter what you are going through, God knows. He sees you and cares for you. We must simply keep our eyes on Jesus and not waver. This is what perseverance means. Hold fast, don’t waver; God will be faithful to you. Your struggles build your faith. As you experience God leading you through one test, it will better equip you for the next one. Perseverance builds little by little over time. Don’t shy away from the trials. Lean into them, knowing the God of the universe is right beside you. Study the faithfulness of men like Noah, Daniel, and Job. Let the way they lived and persevered encourage you. Don’t give up. God’s mercy and compassion are just around the corner.