Get your Daily Encouragement with the Jesus Minute
We’ve covered the first four transformational action-steps Peter sets forth in the first chapter of his second letter:
TRUST IN JESUS-Faith!
TAKE A STAND TO ACT LIKE IT-Virtue!
GRASP JESUS AS YOUR OWN-Knowledge!
EXERCISE INNER STRENGTH-Self-control!
We come now to the 5th action-step: PERSEVERANCE. Perseverance is from the original word, which means to have the capacity to hold out or bear up in the face of difficulty. It’s translated as endurance, patience, and steadfastness. It means to hang in there! In the first four steps you have arrived at a level of self-strength or self-control. With this self-strength whose source is God, you might feel pretty good and secure, however this is the very time you must be ready for something even tougher to happen. Your self-strength will always be tested. That’s life! So, when you face something that is seemingly overwhelming to your strength, there is only one thing to do; you must hang in there. You must persevere in order to endure it-to get through it!
Perseverance is the action-step that brings a long-view to life. Most maturity takes time with very few short cuts. Life’s journey is not a sprint, but a marathon. Perseverance is how you are able to go the distance of that marathon. Perseverance is stubbornness with a purpose. Winston Churchill is known for saying: “If you’re going through hell, keep moving.” Great works are performed not by strength alone, but by perseverance. This is the beauty of moving from the action-step of self-control to perseverance.
The action part of the action-step for perseverance is best stated as to ENDURE. James teaches about perseverance in this way in the first chapter of his letter: Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:1-3) When you encounter the tough times, you can be confident that this is a testing of your faith and by this testing you will gain endurance (perseverance). Then, allow endurance to work in your life, which will produce a full and complete spiritual growth. James even says that you will be lacking in nothing, if you allow endurance to be added to your faith. Both Peter and James intimately connect endurance or perseverance to your faith.
Once you think you have everything under control, that’s the time you’ll find yourself overwhelmed by something beyond your control and strength. The only answer at a time like this is to hang in there-endure it until you get through it!