Life can be likened to a race. There’s a starting line. There’s a finish line. There can be many obstacles. And so on and so forth. Wouldn’t you agree with that? Yes! In fact the authors of the Bible often compared our life to that of a race. One of my favorite verses below says:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
The author of Hebrews says here that there’s a race marked out for us. Every time I encounter this verse, I always get excited about life because I’m reminded that God’s made this life for us to be an adventure. What lies in the adventure he prepared for us though, no one knows. However, we can be sure of two things: 1) It’s going to be the best adventure of our lives and 2) There’ll be many challenges and obstacles that will lie ahead.
The second point tells us that getting to the finish line of that race will not be that easy. I believe that this is one of the reasons why the writer explicitly said to run with “PERSEVERANCE” the race marked out for us. The writer didn’t say: “Go and take your time with this race, it’s going to be easy… Chill… Relax and Enjoy”. No, the writer emphasized the word: “PERSEVERANCE”.
Last week, I was reminded of that word: PERSEVERANCE because I happened to stumble upon another one of my favorite passages of scripture:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
This verse reminded me about the importance of developing perseverance in us. If there’s one attitude in life that will help us face all the challenges and difficulties we’ll face in the future, I think that attitude would be an attitude of perseverance. I like how vocabulary.com defines us the term perseverance for us:
Perseverance is not giving up. It is persistence and tenacity, the effort required to do something and keep doing it till the end, even if it’s hard.
The key phrases there are: “not giving up” and “even if it’s hard”. Perseverance is an attitude of not giving up even when hard things come our way in life. That’s it plain and simple.
This kind of attitude will help us finish what the writer of Hebrews said as the “race marked out for us”. Perseverance is an enduring spirit that keeps on pushing forward even when life gets tougher and tougher and tougher and tougher. Perseverance is an attitude or a characteristic that sets apart the people who’ll finish the race from the people who won’t. I believe that this is one quality that we should have if we have any hopes of wanting to reach the finish line of the race marked out for us.
The question now is, how do I get that characteristic? How do I develop perseverance? Is it just something that people are naturally born with or is it something that can be developed? The good news is perseverance can be developed in us. If you go back to James it says there:
“…the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
It’s clear from that passage of scripture that perseverance can be produced in us. How is it developed? The answer is: whenever our faith gets tested through the trials and challenges we face.
God has already marked out a race for us. The race is exciting however, it’s full of challenges and obstacles. The writer of Hebrews emphasized that if we’re going to run this race, we should run it with perseverance. Perseverance can be developed, it’s not something that we’re just innately born with or without. Perseverance is developed whenever our faith gets tested through the trials and challenges we face.
Whatever situation you’re in right now, I hope you would see that as an opportunity to develop a persevering spirit. The key is to not quit, not give up in the challenges you face right now. Don’t quit on the little things. If you’re a student, maybe that’s the drive to study for an exam or maybe it’s deciding today to honor your parents. For most people, it’s about not giving in to a temptation. While for others, it maybe something really serious that tests their faith in Christ. All of those things, all of those trials in our lives summed up are opportunities for us to develop perseverance. Always remember this:
Perseverance does not get developed in a day’s time… Perseverance gets developed daily.
God bless and happy Monday! 🙂