You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised. Hebrews 10:36
Perseverance seems to come naturally to some. My young grandson, Jack, is an example of someone who has a natural bent towards persevering; he is a lot like his mom. Jack turned six this past week and was excited to get his very own brand-new two-wheeler. He jumped onto that bike and rode without any hesitation (or training wheels.) Whether learning to read or mastering rollerblades, Jack has an “I can do it” kind of mindset, and it has served him well in life so far. His perspective is one of enduring no matter how difficult the task.
Paul knew that this kind of perseverance would be essential for anyone wanting to live a vibrant Christian life, enduring no matter the cost, no matter how difficult the task and no matter the opposition. He also knew this kind of life brought reward.
Here in Hebrews 10:36, Paul is telling the Christian to “keep on keeping on!” In other words, no matter how trying things may get or how difficult the assignment, we must keep going. The early Christians Paul was writing to were discouraged and were in danger of giving up. They were thinking of returning to following the law in lieu of the gospel. It seems, in their minds, it was easier to follow the law than the truth of the Good News. They preferred rules and structure to grace and truth. We can be the same way; we can abandon grace for the law. We can lack the endurance to keep living in the freedom which comes through grace.
Having a mindset of perseverance, endurance, and steadfastness can be quite challenging, especially when things get difficult. And if this year has taught us anything, it has taught us that life can be challenging and trying!
So, how does the Christian keep going? How does a believer in Jesus keep putting one foot in front of the other, moving forward when the possibilities for discouragement abounds?
Endurance and perseverance! It takes having a mindset of “yoked to Jesus -filled with the Holy Spirit-together, we can do it and we can endure.” It means having the conviction to endure no matter the cost, no matter how difficult the task, and no matter the opposition.
Perseverance is the ability to progress in spite of adversity.Jerry Bridges
James 1:2-4 tells us something hard to hear and harder to grasp fully. James says endurance is built by trials, which is the testing of our faith. As the trials come, we learn to keep on keeping on. We understand that the ability to endure and persevere is a result of coming through trials. Each test we endure molds us more and more into the man or woman God wants us to be. Each trial makes the ability to persevere come more naturally, and perseverance, my friend, is the thing that gets us to the finished line well.