Persevere. Stay the course. Don’t give up. Hold Fast.
“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised….But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.” Hebrews 10:35-36, 39
“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5: 3-4
“Consider it pure joy, my brother, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23
Should I keep going? Do you get it? No, I mean really get it? I don’t know about you, but I seem to let the truth of God and His promises slip from my heart and run far away in the thick of battle. More often than not, I cave in despair at the whispers of Satan rather than shouting in praise that in the unforeseen, my God is working.
Too many times I cry myself to sleep and drag myself up the next morning in defeat under the weight of my circumstances. Go ahead, take a moment, right now. Think on what it is that seems paralyzing. That has you stuck in a trench of fear and threatens to steal any evidence of hope, no change possible.
Is it money? Is it that you don’t know how you are going to feed your babies? Is it friends? Are they dragging you down, causing you problems? Is it your marriage? Is the back door looking easier than facing the issue head on? Is it death, or the threat of death? Have you lost someone close, a parent, a child? Have you been diagnosed with a life stealing disease? What about your children? Are they turning from everything you want for them, everything you taught them? I know, it’s your job? Your job is draining the life right out of you and you want a way out?
Listen, we could do more than fill in the blank. We could make pie charts and graphs and lists of all our present sufferings. But dear friends, the promises of God. The reminders of perseverance. The whisper of keep going, it will all pay off. The stories in His word that prove, steadfast always wins. Could we stop cowering at the hardships of life that are inevitable and unpredictable? Can we stop clamming up over past mistakes and march forward in victory because of God’s grace?
I know it’s hard. It’s suppose to be hard my friends. It’s suppose to be a moment in time when we know that the only way we can take another breath is because God is breathing for us. It’s suppose to be hard. It’s suppose to make us mature and complete. It’s suppose to be hard, it’s suppose to teach us truth and assurance that without God, nothing is possible. It’s suppose to be hard, so that God gets all the glory. It’s suppose to be hard so that we can praise Him even in the storm. Do you see?
We can claim victory before the battle is ever over. We can claim pure joy in the threat of defeat because we rely on God. We can claim hope because we have a Father who has promised. We can become until we overcome. We can develop character that is sustaining even when we feel destroyed. What’s it going to be?
Listen, there’s nothing like walking into your sweet, precious daughter’s room to see blood from self harm. There’s nothing like the threat of the enemy convincing your husband his life isn’t worth living and having to be the audible voice for the assurance of Christ’s promises. There’s nothing like experiencing broken relationships and abandonment. There’s nothing like the threat of losing it all. Oh yeah, and that’s been in the last year. But God.
My God is showing me something. My God is working out the kinks of my faith. My God is proving He is reliable, steadfast, and faithful. My God is making a way when it seems there’s no way possible. My God is working, changing, molding, purifying, saving. That is what I claim. Perseverance. Who’s with me?
I want to share with you a personal testament to hanging tough. To hanging on when the threat of the world is pressing and death seems near. Now I’m not saying you have to go out and do the same. But I am saying that you have to read God breathed scriptures and renew your mind however it takes so that you will remember in the thick of battle. My dear husband, Greg, tattooed a reminder on his body that has meaning. That has life. I asked him to share with me why he got it and what it means. In his words…
“It means to attach yourself to. Even when I was running from God, he was attached to me and kept me safe and secure through all my sin and running. So, I want to spend the rest of my life being attached to Him because He is my rock and stronghold. If I let go, I will drowned. Hold Fast is a firm grip.”
Do whatever you need to do to remind yourself of the word of God. That no matter the intensity of your circumstance, God is still in control. That no matter how hard it is, no matter how much you don’t think you’ll make it through, hold fast.
One more thing. Take a listen. See if you can relate. See if you can drop the weight of the world and just worship.