God is an excellent creator. He knew we needed to stand firm on His word. Our Father understood the trials and tribulations sin causes and left us humans with a way back into His grace (Romans 3:20-24). Its placing our faith in Christ that we receive the recipe for salvation. And one of the key ingredients of a saving faith is perseverance.
Christ is our greatest teacher in endurance (Hebrews 12:2). Our Messiah’s death, resurrection, and ascension is God’s way of showing us the example of an unyielding trust. Everything the Pharisees and Roman Soldiers inflicted He endured with an unshakable courage. Christ withstood the pains of physical death, and His resurrection opened the door for us to live with Him forever.
Perseverance is indispensable to living in God’s Spirit. We will experience times when our spiritual life becomes a challenge. It’s difficult staying focused on living righteous in uncomfortable circumstances. Sometimes we give our best efforts and fall short. God understands we are not perfect and is pleased when we continue humbling ourselves.
Remember, we live in a broken world where sin dominates and others say hurtful words. This makes it imperative for us to be persistent in our Christian walk. No matter how faltering we become it’s our willingness to follow Christ (2 John 1:9) that enables us to overcome adversity.
Perseverance keeps us concentrated on God’s promises because with Christ as our anchor nothing can separate us from heaven. The more willing we are to stay faithful under every circumstance then our trust in God grows, and we can withstand the storms of life.
What are the essential principles of perseverance?
Hope and willingness build an uncompromising Christian foundation. They are the essence of devotion and replaces complacency with spiritual actions. God is pleased when we continue seeking Christ in both good and challenging times. By practicing those attributes we show God our hearts and prove our faith.
We will suffer the temptations of the flesh and by staying focused on our Christian walk our ability to live holy increases. God’s gift of salvation assures us of our inheritance to heaven (1 Peter 1:3-4). And when we embrace Christ nothing can shake us from His grip because God’s enemy is defenseless against the purity of Christ. Living in God’s Spirit turns our tribulations into stepping-stones and takes away the pains of sin.
Hope is trusting in the Lord without reservations. God’s truth isn’t a theory, and the Holy Spirit gives testimony to this. Christ our great intercessor (Romans 8:34) guarantees security in God’s house (Romans 8:31-39). In Christ we are on solid ground, rich in God’s Spirit and able to live faithful in a world full of temptations. Nothing in Satan’s domain (the world) can overtake God and our unity in His Trinity give us an eternal hope.
In Paul’s Epistle to the Romans he showed us the fruits of hope.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:1-5)
It’s here, where Paul identifies eternal hope and defines the way God responds to those who abide in Christ. Faith is the leader of conviction and gives birth to endurance. We can’t escape tribulations and hope keeps our eyes on heaven (Colossians 3:1-2). Christ has defeated sin and in distressful circumstances, we find peace because God sheds grace on those who live in His will.
Rejoicing in tribulations isn’t easy since they bring discomfort to our hearts. But without accepting them, we can’t unlock the door of perseverance and build Christian morals. It’s Christ who removes our carnal outlook on troubles, replaces it with an eternal vision and gives insight to its fruitfulness. Once we understand trials are opportunities to grow our faith, then we find eternal security and know our hope is real. The more we respond to life in a spiritual way our Christian lives shines and Christ gives us the courage to accept the realities of the flesh.
God promises justice to those who are loyal to Christ. Christ sanctifies us, and this leads us to God, who anoints us with the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit is the most satisfying human experience one can have with God because it’s the way God pours out His undeniable love. Here we are living in God’s kingdom and experiencing real salvation.
Another way hope bears fruit is through spreading Christ’s message with others. Disciple Peter explained it this way.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” (1 Peter 3:15-17 NIV)
Those verses look complicated to comprehend, but they are simple. Here Peter addresses glorifying (revere) Christ as the Lord. When we follow God’s command and place our faith in Christ’s hands then, we become fit to share with others the wisdom of salvation. This wisdom isn’t from us but comes from the Holy Spirit. Christ is the one that prepares us to speak the truth, and God’s Spirit places the words we are to share in expressing them with others. It’s the Holy Spirit that sanctifies us and radiates our eternal hope.
Carrying the gospel comes with responsibility, and this makes it crucial to guard against self-righteousness. God is watching the way we present His word and when we share it with love our conscious stays pure. Remember we are working for Christ, and God knows man’s hearts, so we don’t have to be judgmental.
God is the judge and when we are rejected or persecuted for proclaiming Christ; He will make them accountable. Rejection is tough, and its painful being persecuted but salvation teaches us God despises evil doers.
Hope keeps us persevering because we understand our stay on earth is temporary. Apostle Paul sums up hope this way.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Willingness plays a major role in persevering. Christ knows we become discouraged and doesn’t expect us to have an abundance of willingness. Jesus used the mustard seed to explain the smallest quantity of faith yields an abundance of God’s blessings (Matthew 17:20). Well, the same holds true in our Christian efforts. The Lord isn’t concerned with the quantity of action but takes notice of its quality.
One of the toughest circumstance to stay willing is when troubles arise, and we become overwhelmed. Sometimes life events happen close together, and we can’t find relief. We might assume God has abandoned us because we are experiencing many calamities. Those occurrences are common, and it’s through Christ we find calmness under every known predicament to humanity.
We are never alone since Christ is the same today as He was yesterday and will be tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8). And by exerting Christian efforts no problem or trouble is too large for God. The Lord is waiting for us to turn to Christ and the moment we surrender, our suffering fades away. Then we realize our greatest relief is improving our personal relation with Christ.
The Prophet Isaiah spoke these words: “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land” (Isaiah 1:19). Obedience takes persistent action, and willingness is the backbone of effort. Sometimes it takes everything in us to keep our minds focused on God’s truth because Christ’s enemy tries its best to turn us away. We are secure in Christ and by staying active in our devotion, God will heal our spiritual wounds.
Our brethren Peter left us an outstanding message of perseverance: “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). It’s in developing a personal relationship with Christ that keeps us moving forward instead of retreating. And the best way to know Christ is embracing God’s word. When everything around us becomes uncertain; God’s word brings comfort to the heart and soothes our souls.
The Bible holds the key to finding the way God intends for us to handle the agony of the flesh. Everything Christ taught on living in God’s Spirit is written throughout its pages and is at our disposal. Our personal experience with God’s grace keeps us eager to continue seeking Christ and this where willingness aligns itself with perseverance.
Early in my salvation impatience got the best of me. I wanted instant relief from my problems and God’s answers came at a slow, subtle pace. Since then, as I have grown in spiritual maturity, my ability to wait (Romans 8:25) for His answers has increased. This has taught me to practice perseverance and continue taking action even when I don’t hear God’s voice. I love God and the way He works in my life. Today, when I struggle and strive to live in Christ, everything turns out better than I could have imagined.
When we stay humble and place Christ above everything in our lives, remarkable changes transpire. Nothing in God’s plan is an accident. The inner peace Christ brings us comes from our willingness to stay focused and not yield to our problems. It’s in persevering where we draw closer to God and find serenity. Without persistent devotion, we can agree life is unbearable.