Hebrews 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence which hath a great recompense of reward. For ye have need of endurance, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
The water pump in our car has finally breathed its last breath. After twenty years of doing what water pumps are supposed to do it has decided to retire – permanently. Purchasing a new one was easy. Getting the old one out was not. For a full day there was a battle raging in the shed. Husband shouting angry words and the water pump silently saying nothing in return. The angry husband would rage into the house to let off steam like a pent-up pressure cooker and then march back to the shed again, determined to do combat with the stubborn water pump. Perseverance paid off. Late in the day, he jubilantly waved the greasy, banged up pump in my face, beaming with a victorious smile. He had won the battle through dogged persistence.
Persistence is the hard work we do after the hard work we have already done. It is having a unrelenting resistance against obstacles that stand in our way and stubbornly refusing to give in, give up and give out. Persistence must finish its work, if it is to see a good result. And there is no doubt that persevering is very hard work. Giving up seems so tempting, so easy. And oh, don’t we long for it to be easy? The path of less resistance looks so inviting, but it is so well-trodden and those who desire God’s best, must not be found there.
James 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
James instructs us to patiently persevere through trials so that we emerge stronger, and more dependent on our Lord, thus lacking nothing. I am not sure that my dear husband considered the trial of disengaging the water pump a joy, but it certainly reinforced that perseverance reaps a sure reward. In the same way, as we depend upon God’s sovereignty and trust that hardship has a divine purpose, we will be able to adopt an attitude of endurance regardless of the trial.
Hebrews 6:11-12 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: that ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Biblical history is littered with people who have run the course of patient perseverance and have now received the promised inheritance through Christ’s perfecting work at Calvary. Men and women such as Abraham, Moses, Joseph, Daniel, Paul, Ruth, Esther, Rahab, Mary and Anna, who refused to give up. Their faith endured, despite the obstacles. We too can endure, knowing that our Lord has only the best for us and will, in His grace, strengthen and sustain us, just as He did for these men and women.
And yet our most excellent example of one who persevered is Jesus Himself. Let us “consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” (Hebrews 12:3). When we become downhearted and discouraged it is good to remember that our trials are not as severe as our Lord’s.
Since there is such a great cloud of witnesses watching and cheering us on, let’s lay aside every sinful weight and the spirit of despondency that so easily diverts us and run with patient perseverance the race that God has set before us. Look up to and hold tightly to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the One who endured more than we ever will, and who is able to keep us for that glorious day when we will see Him face to face.
“Heavenly Father, help me to set my heart and face on seeking You. I am weak on my own, but You make me strong and provide the grace so that I might endure trials and the temptations that surround me. Help me to persevere until the end. Amen.”