Hebrews 12: 1-3 “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, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
We have gone through eight of these devotions and I am sure that you are not as gung-ho or excited about them as you were at the beginning, assuming you were! Hopefully, though, you are still getting something out of these. I certainly am. I say that to say this, there comes a time for everything were it loses excitement. It could be a tv show, a relationship, a job, etc. There is a predictable cycle for everything that enters our life. The shiny object becomes less shiny. The question then becomes, do we take time to make it shiny again, or do we give up and move on to the next, temporarily, shiny object? For some, the honeymoon phase does not last as long they hoped. Or the great new job has more problems than the last. It takes perseverance to push through to God’s glory.
There are a few things that I have taken away from my short study on perseverance.
- Pray for what God wants from you, not what you want from God.
- Have faith that you are, at this moment, where He wants you.
- Strive for greatness (1 Corinth 9:24-27)
I have quit numerous things in my life, sports, jobs, relationships, you name it. In every case, I can look back on those moments and easily point to the ones that were God-breathed and the ones that had my name written all over them. The problem is that we do not have the ability to look back on a decision before it happens. From the list above, 1 and 2 go hand in hand. Pray for what God wants. Be intentional about not asking for anything but instead, creating space for God to give His will. I find myself constantly asking for something and rarely taking the time to listen. The second piece of the puzzle is to trust that God has you here for a reason. You are in this moment because God wants it this way. Thank Him for whatever lesson you may be learning right now. It may not be easy but trust that there is a purpose.
The last component of perseverance is to be the best you can you be regardless of the situation. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 says, “ Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
Not only will we face difficulties and need perseverance, but while we are in those tough moments, God calls us to strive for greatness. We are running a race that literally defines our eternity. Read that again. Our crown is eternal life. Whatever the race is for your running to please God. Perseverance is praying for God’s will, trusting Him, and being the best you can be. Trust His timing.
I would encourage you to make time for this sermon (https://12stone.com/watch/pull-up-a-chair/abc-zones/). The timing of this message worked perfectly for a devotion on perseverance.