"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." Romans 5:3-4
Perseverance is a quality that is not optional for a true bond slave of Christ. No one lived out perseverance better than our Savior when He walked on this earth. Day after day He persevered with disciples who were slow learners, constant persecution, ridicule from the religious leaders of the day, and unbelief even within His own family. The ultimate act of perseverance was once arrested, to be tortured, beaten, and crucified. Just before commending His spirit into the Father’s hands He proclaimed, "It is finished." (Luke 23:46, John 19:30)
The Bible teaches us to exult in tribulation, because it brings about perseverance. Then it goes onto say perseverance reveals "proven character" — or not.This is true whether physical or spiritually speaking. Being an endurance athlete I have learned it isn’t how we start a race, it is how we finish that defines the athlete. All runners look good at the start of a race with crowds cheering and adrenaline pumping, but what exposes the runners character is revealed in the last grueling miles nearing the finish when the emotions and adrenaline are exhausted. Injuries from falls, digestive issues, extreme heat and cold, etc., and finishing alone, depending on your pace, can become contributing factors. It is not so much about a time, but finishing. Of course we all want to finish strong, but endurance runs require perseverance to complete the task, unlike sprinting races. I have learned endurance through long hours of training.Success is crossing the finish line, experiencing one of the most gratifying feelings in life, and knowing deep within, "it is finished."
Perseverance is a quality we all must strive to achieve. People who lack this quality lack character according to scripture. Folks without this quality do not make a good marriage partner, a trustworthy friend, or a faithful employee. You definitely don’t want them for a team mate! I have observed people throughout my whole life I greatly admired for perseverance, and I have suffered the consequences of people who lacked it over and over in my life. Relationally, they walk out during seasons of tribulation, and it comes to all. They destroy the strength of a family. Worst of all they walk away from The Race we are all born into before their true purpose is fulfilled affecting many lives in doing so.
From scripture we learn if we are motivated by true love, which is God Himself, we endure. Love for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are what causes me to have perseverance. Whether physically, or spiritually I know tribulation strengthens me. I trust in God’s love for me.
In Luke 21:19 Jesus states,
"By endurance you will gain your lives."
Let us learn to embrace the tribulations of life knowing it is what truly reveals the proven character of the man or woman. In it we gain our eternal lives. Selah!
In His love.
A majestic, frozen waterfall hanging from cliffs that stopped me in my tracks as I was persevering this week in cold temperatures below Byllesby Dam on New River Trail, in Ivanhoe, Va. Winter has it’s rewards!