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February 2, 2019

Perseverance

Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:4)

Statistics show that 50% of us have already broken our New Year’s resolutions. Not surprising when you consider the quick-fix, self-serve, fast-lane, convenience-store mentality that is imposed on us by a world that wants everything delivered on a silver platter and they want it NOW!

Progress is not bad, but the problem arises when this way of thinking invades areas which depend on commitment and perseverance. In Hebrews 12:1-2, the writer compares the Christian life to running a race:

Get Set – “…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles…” (Hebrews 12:1a). Sin is not the only thing that will keep a Christian from living for the Lord. There are other things, even though not sinful themselves, that can impede our growth: friendships, television, music, reading materials, etc.

  • Unnecessary weight – “‘Everything is permissible’ - but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’ but not everything is constructive” (1 Corinthians 10:23).
  • Weight of Sin – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Go Steady – “…and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” (Hebrews 12:1b). God determined our “lane” when He made us with certain abilities and gifts. That is the simplest explanation of how He calls us and to what He expects us to be faithful. In his letter to the churches in the Galatia province, Paul wrote, “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).

Go Straight – “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…” (Hebrews 12:2). The next verse in the passage explains why this is so important: “Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:3). Thinking about all that Christ suffered for us helps motivate us to “stick it out” when we feel like we just can’t.

Final Thought – If there is something in your life that is hindering you from persevering, get rid of it. Then, focus on Jesus!


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