perseverance : steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success (Oxford Dictionary)
perseverance : steady persistence in adhering to a course of action, a belief, or a purpose; steadfastness. (The Free Dictionary.com)
The times I’ve felt the most stuck were the times when life had been hitting pretty darn hard. For me to not move, not do anything, and not decide on a course of action, would mean staying stuck and refusing the better things in life.
Things like a steadied heart with peace beyond understanding when life is knocking you down. Things like joy for who you are because of who God is and his unending love. Things like a freed mind which allows you to live more fully and completely as God desires. Things like awe and wonder for a God who is truly good and beyond amazing.
Do we really want to reject the better things?
We're not too likely to say we do, at least I don't want to admit it. But I have and do, far too often.
What if we often choose staying stuck instead of persevering through the hard things, because hard is not a pleasant way to better things? Yeah, sometimes we just want our way and only our way. We think it's more pleasant when it's not.
Dear one, if we reject the hard things which lead to better things, we refuse to accept the reality of our need and of the prideful path we're on. We will miss out on God's best for us because we don't believe it is truly good.
Maybe we don’t really believe that there is something better for us in the way we live day to day.
In order to see that there are better things, even when it feels like life is full of anything but, is to remember God is good. To test his goodness and see, God is good no matter what. His goodness never changes when we’re feeling bad or suffering the hard.
This odd verse reminds us to explore His goodness. To come to know it internally.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! ~ Psalm 34:8
Most of the time, he doesn’t make sense. Far too often he makes me downright mad, angry, and discombobulated. My world gets rocked like an earthquake meeting a hurricane all at the same time. Yet, when the waves of destruction settle down, and I choose to continue putting hope in the one who held me through it all while taking steps of activated faith, my heart feels lighter, freer, and stronger.
I can’t explain it. I can’t really define it. But it’s there all the same.
I wonder if this is what Moses felt like when he stepped with God in obedience after the burning bush conversation? Or when he stepped with God when his father-in-law suggested putting judges in place? Or when he stepped with God by raising his arms before a vast sea which opened up before him?
How did Moses persevere in all the trials he faced? How did any number of other figures of faith in the Bible?
When the heroes of faith persevered, they held fast to the belief that God’s course of action was trustworthy and good, even when it didn’t make sense.
Y’all, God’s ways throughout scripture are so full of seeming contradictions and upside down understandings. Even so, they hold one solid thread of redemption throughout and looking back we can see God’s goodness in ways which are even more beyond comprehension.
God's unconventional ways bring about miraculous beauty over time.
What do we do in our own trials and tough times? How do we keep going when it all seems too hard to do? How do the tough get going again when we realize that really we’re broken inside and believing too many lies?
The world might say to persevere based on a plan towards personal glory and self-defined success. God says to persevere based on His plan for our good and His glory. He says this is true success.
The heart of a Christ following perseverer is one which must seek the heart of Christ first and foremost. In doing so we find encouragement, conviction, and courage to rise up again.
Are you wondering what God has for you in a tough situation? Are you wondering if things will change and begging that they will?
Choose to live out the belief that God is good. Choose to persevere in a belief and a course of action which leads into better things. In the face of trouble, a persevering heart is met by an unswerving, unwavering, relentlessly good God.
CONSIDER: What if, what needs to change the most is right there within our own hearts? Will we persevere in the hard things in order to see the holy?
CULTIVATE: Study the heroes of faith and consider the ways in which they persevered based on a belief of God's goodness, and what it looked like when they persevered based on doubts and distrust for the same. If you need a list of heroes, read Hebrews 11.
READ: Contend for the Faith
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. ~ Isaiah 40:28-31