Perseverance is the continued effort to do or achieve something, even when it is difficult or takes a long time.
This is a great value for both pupils and staff to have at our school. In this time of Covid it has been difficult to persevere.
As Christians, we have an incredible hope. God promises that our mistakes can be forgiven, with a new start each time assured, and we also have a promise of eternal life after our death. More than this, with God, our lives have a greater meaning and purpose. God says to us “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29.11). Again in Proverbs we are encouraged to ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths’ (Proverbs 3.5-6). This is good news!
However, we also know that living a Christian life is not always going to be plain sailing. We have no guarantee of an easy ride. Quite the reverse in fact. Jesus warns those who follow him to expect trouble and persecution!
So we need perseverance, which is Hupomonen (ὑπομονήν) in Greek. This can also be translated endurance. Hupomonen is something that keeps us going when things are tough. It is what helps us to continue, even through difficult times.
In the parable of the Sower, Jesus describes the one who grows and harvests a good crop as one who has perseverance. Anyone who has grown anything will know that planting a seed in good soil is only the beginning! Weeks, if not months (and sometimes even years) of careful watering, feeding, weeding, pruning and tending are required before the final produce can be prepared, eaten and enjoyed. Growing food is not something we can do one day and simply tick off as ‘done’. Likewise, our journey of faith is not something we do just once. Being a Christian is an ongoing, lived, experience and we will need perseverance to keep going with God throughout our lives.
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
2 Thessalonians 3:13
As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good.
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
1 Timothy 6.11-12
But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.