Perseverance is long obedience in the same direction. It is endurance based on an assurance or hope of something.
I heard perseverance defined this way at church last week and it really spoke to me. Persevering in life and in the faith means choosing a path or direction to head toward . At first, it might seem like the path of obedience is restrictive, burdensome, or a set of rules to be dreaded. But as believers, we can have such joy and freedom in the path of righteousness! It is not easy, and we will never reach perfection on earth, but just like the title of this blog, joy can be found in continuing the journey. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
We can have joy because our righteousness was purchased through Christ’s death and resurrection. It is His righteousness, imputed righteousness, we stand in when we receive Christ as Lord. And it is God’s Spirit that empowers us to live a righteous life (Philippians 3:9)! Walking in righteousness draws us closer to Him and allows us to enjoy the benefits of our spiritual identity in our everyday lives (John 10:10). And finally, we can persevere in all that He has called us to because we have an assurance and hope. Not only have we been forgiven, but we have been given a future. No matter what life on earth brings, we have Christ for eternity. God’s promises remain faithful. He knows the beginning from the end, and ultimately has won the victory over all. What a hope!
” Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
1 Peter 1:3-9
I’ve been thinking a lot perseverance this week. The reality of hope (the assurance, Christ in me and the hope of eternity), motivates me to persevere. For the past few years, I have chosen a word that means something to me to start off the new year. Last year, my word was steadfast, and this year, I think the Lord wants to teach me more about perseverance. I’ll try to keep you updated on my journey of persevering this year. Further up and further in!
Enjoy the journey friends!