Archive for the ‘Perseverance’ Category
Psalm 138:8” The LORD will perfect HIS work in me; Your mercy, O LORD will endure forever; do not forsake the work of your own hands.” I entitled this post self portrait because we are all guilty at times of painting a portrait of ourselves that may not be a very clear picture of who we really are. Sometimes the portrait can be greatly exaggerated and sometimes can be overly critical and even depressing at times. We all need to realize that we are GOD’S masterpiece, the scripture tells us that the LORD will perfect HIS work in us. So many times we think or we act like our portrait is already done but the last brush stroke only becomes the last when we draw our last breath. Imagine if Micheal Angelo was creating a masterpiece and we yanked the brush out of his hands and we said, hey your doing it all wrong it should look like this. That is what we do when we look at our self portrait and decide that it is finished and it is all wrong. We need to be patient, GOD isn’t done with the portrait yet. Sometimes HIS brush stroke is light and life is easy, sometimes the brush stroke digs in and is bold and life gets uncomfortable, both strokes are necessary when creating a masterpiece. I received one of GOD’S heavy brush strokes a few years ago when I woke from an outpatient surgery paralyzed from the shoulders down. My portrait changed drastically and it wasn’t a portrait that I would have painted but GOD has HIS reason. HE only paints masterpieces and my portrait needed a traumatic change to become the masterpiece HE sees in me. I have since learned to walk again and function very well for what all doctor’s call a “miracle” and should be by all counts a complete quadriplegic. When life is tough we need to persevere and realize our portrait is still being painted. We need to trust GOD’S word for HE will PERFECT HIS WORK in ME and will not FORSAKE the work of HIS own hands.
“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.” 1 Corinthians 9:24
This is my favorite Bible verse. I’ve had it memorized for many years. As a young man, I often thought about perseverance and what it meant to run in such a way as to win the prize. I wanted to live my life well and throw off all of the things that often hinder. Perseverance has always been something very important to build into my character, and when I read Bible verses about perseverance like this one, I realize that I don’t yet have it. I don’t run in such a way as to win the prize. For short periods of time I do. I throw of my hindrances and I run with perseverance. But then I get discouraged. I get entangled in something meaningless or I get bound up in sin. And during those times, I care little about really living my life to the full and running with perseverance. During those times, all I want to do is settle for good enough.
That’s why I love verses like this one that convict me that good enough isn’t really good enough. If God were to come down to each of us and reveal His specific plan for our lives, all that we were meant to be and the good works we were meant to accomplish, I’m convinced that it would be so amazing and so inspirational that we would instantly throw off our hindrances and the sins we’re entangled in and strive to become the types of people we were meant to be. God desires that we be people of character — confident, humble, wise, compassionate. He desires that we really care about people and that we be people worthy of other people’s respect. Our own selfish desires want us to just sit back and take life easy, to not excel, but to find what satisfaction we can from simple pleasures and sins. The choice is ours about how we live. Shall we run with perseverance, trying to get the prize? Or shall we be content as we are and live a life of good enough?
“Though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again.” Proverbs 24:16
This is an amazing Bible verse about perseverance. Not only is it a great picture of never giving up, but I love the fact that Solomon, the writer of the Proverb, uses the number seven. Seven, in Biblical terms, is the number of completion. So when Solomon says “Though a righteous man falls seven times,” it could be interpreted as “Though a righteous man falls every time.” That makes this verse a perfect model for perseverance. It’s interesting too that the verse calls perseverance a character trait of righteousness. People don’t often associate perseverance with righteousness. People often associate righteousness with things like strong character, right actions, and unwavering fortitude. People don’t often get the picture of a righteous person constantly falling down.
That’s why I love this verse about perseverance. It shows not only that righteous people fall and stumble just like everyone else, but also that perseverance is a mark of righteousness. That’s encouraging to me, and gives me the motivation to keep getting back up every time I fall. Hopefully you’ll find this verse inspiring as well.
“Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.” Proverbs 22:19
This Bible verse has always motivated me to persevere and do things to the best of my ability. So often I squander my talents, not really caring all that much about what I’m doing, more eager to find a comfortable situation than to really strive toward excellence. But then I’ll read a verse like this one, and I’ll realize that it’s better to be the kind of man who really cares about the work he does, even if the work seems mundane, just for the principle of the thing. Perseverance is often rewarded in the end. People who take the time to strive toward excellence will serve before kings and have their talent recognized. That’s a comforting thing to know.
It’s so easy to just settle for good enough, working just to live and make end’s meet. But I don’t want to live like that. Life is short, and I don’t want to spend the whole of my life pouring my effort into things that I don’t really care about. I want to strive toward excellence and perseverance in the hopes that the work of my hands will one be recognized and rewarded.
“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:7
I like the combination of being strong and not giving up. Perseverance mixed with courage is a powerful pairing. It’s difficult being strong and not giving up, unless one knows there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. That’s why I love the promise at the end of this verse. Be strong and don’t give up, it won’t all be in vain like you’re worried it will be. So often people seem to work hard for awhile and then get discouraged. It’s tough keeping up hope in the midst of difficult times. One of the hardest things in life is to keep working hard and staying strong, even when it seems like nothing is happening and God isn’t moving.
That’s why I take great comfort in verses like this about perseverance. Perseverance is a powerful character trait, and can bring about a breakthrough when nothing else does. In life, I often seem to take on projects that seem to big for me, and then after awhile, I get discouraged because nothing seems to be happening. It’s sad to start a big endeavor only to give up just before the work is rewarded. I know about my own predisposition toward discouragement, and so I take great comfort in this Bible verse, because it encourages me toward perseverance and finishing what I’ve started.
“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.” Hebrews 12:1
There’s so much that can be said about this Bible verse about perseverance. It has so many elements that are so integral to living the kind of life you can really be proud of. I find it very interesting that the thing that gives us the ability to run the race with perseverance is the fact that we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses. In other words, if you want to really live well, unburdened by sin and hindrances, you need to have strong Christian community. Strong community produces perseverance. I find that very interesting.
It’s also very convicting. Most of the time, especially when I am struggling with sin, I don’t want to seek out honest community. I want to do my own thing and be by myself. It’s sad too, because those are the times that we need community the most. Genuine Christian community should never be judgmental. It should be encouraging. If someone is struggling and is burdened by sin, a brother or sister can definitely help convict them. But ultimately it’s up to the person himself/herself to change. But getting back to the verse. I love that through my Christian brothers and sisters, I have everything I need to rise above the things that hold me down and really live the kind of life I can be proud of.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
I love this Bible verse about perseverance. Though it doesn’t expressly use the word perseverance, it’s a great metaphor for perseverance. The image of a harvest is an excellent model for what perseverance really is all about. When a farmer sows seed, he doesn’t get an immediate benefit. In those days, he had to do back breaking labor to till the ground and get it ready for sowing his seed. For many months he would tend his fields, caring for the plants as they grew to full maturity. And finally, once the harvest would come, he would be ready to reap the benefit of all his labor.
Though Paul doesn’t tell what the harvest is in this passage, one can imagine that reaping a harvest from not growing weary in doing good involves having rich and meaningful relationships with people, being esteemed as someone worthy of respect, and finding satisfaction and peace. That’s at least what I imagine the harvest of doing good to be like. It might be different for different people, but for me, that’s the picture I get when I think of the reward for persevering in doing good.