Perseverance, persistence, persevering, persisting, to persevere, to persist ~ these are qualities often required by life and they are lauded in our culture. They are deemed keystones to any stable and progressing culture, and are viewed as the foundations of responsible adulthood. Failure in these qualities, lack of execution in them, is frequently reviled in our society, garnering for those who do not perform in these virtues bucketfuls of shame and/or sneering condescension. I’m not here to knock perseverance, persistence, persevering, persisting, but I am here to kick ’em around a little and maybe let a little Light into places where dark, dismal cobwebs ~ or worse, heavy bonds ~ can collect and grow because of misconceptions about them.
A bruised reed He will not break and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice.” ~ Isaiah 42:3
It’s possible we in our society and culture have an over-elevated view of ourselves and our capabilities.
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. ~ Genesis 1:27
Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. ~ Genesis 2:7
We are formed in the image of God ~ set apart from all other living things and capable of many things because of being created in His image. Yet let’s not lose track of the truth and reality that we are formed from dust and before God breathed the breath of life into us, we were just dust in an amazing shape. Dust, in and of itself, is not capable of a great deal ~ it lays there until it’s blown around by swirling forces or it mushes up into muddy goo in the storm. Apart from the breath of God ~ our very life itself ~ we don’t achieve much of note.
The Bible has bucketfuls of things to say on perseverance, persistence, persevering, persisting. This perseverance, persistence, persevering, persisting however is not of us or from us:
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. ~ Galatians 2:20
So as we consider the following from the Word on perseverance, let’s not get bogged down in weights of “shoulds” that the Lord does not intend for us to carry!
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” ~ Matthew 11:30
We have things in life we do need to persevere and persist through, but not alone.
…for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you…”
~ Hebrews 13:5
For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. ~ Hebrews 12:3
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
~ Galatians 6:9
But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good. ~ 2 Thessalonians 3:13
But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each person according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.
~ Romans 2:5-7
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
~ Romans 5:1-6
But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
~ Romans 8:25
For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ Romans 15:4-6
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ~ Romans 15:13