March 19, 2010

Perseverance’s Prize

Written by Boyd Bailey

Perseverance’s Prize… “… The temple was finished in all its details according to its specifications. He had spent seven years building it. It took Solomon thirteen years, however, to complete the construction of his palace.” 1 Kings 6:38 b, 7:1

Sometimes it is difficult to finish. Just the sound of the word perseverance communicates something difficult. But do not quit–press on–it would be easy to quit now, but later you will be glad you finished. Perseverance is required because most projects, people and life’s goals require more than we anticipated. Yes, our expectations normally “under bid” the cost of the commitment. We get in the middle of our commitment and realize the need for more patience, forgiveness and determination than we originally budgeted.

The extra cost of time and money can be discouraging and even depressing. The business or ministry you started with great enthusiasm is now struggling. It requires much more time, leadership and money than you would have ever dreamed. The children you are raising are a joy, but at times can be painful and require great grace. Your marriage is mostly heaven, but at times can be like hell, so stay loyal to your vows.

How do you respond when the going gets rough? Life is not fair, it can be a bear, and so will you persevere?  We persevere because the results are rewarding. The process conforms us into the likeness of Christ. His character becomes a rock of dependability during hard times. So how do we persevere during adversity?

First, you are able to persevere by going to Jesus. Every other place you can turn will be lacking. Ultimately it is your Heavenly Father who has the answers. He is the dependable one, who never leaves us or forsakes us. Jesus understands perseverance as He “endured the cross and despised its shame” (Hebrews 12:2, KJV). He didn’t give up–for our sake.

Another reason we are able to persevere is the past and present example of others. People throughout history have paid the ultimate price so that we might enjoy our freedoms. Closer to home you have family members who have toiled relentlessly, so you could enjoy the fruits of their labors. How can we give up, when those before us, in more difficult circumstances, were able to persevere? Gratitude produces perseverance.

Lastly, there is a good pride that says, “I will complete this goal because it is the right thing to do. I have made this commitment, thus I will finish”. Once you have completed the task, you can relish the moment for years to come, knowing you never gave up, you gave it your best and you persevered. Persevere for Christ’s sake and the sake of others; you will be so satisfied with the results. Your perseverance gives others hope to press on.

“You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary” (Revelations 2:3).

What project or job do I need to see through to completion? Will I persevere for Him?

Related Readings: Romans 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 13:7; Hebrews 11:27; 2 Thessalonians 3:5

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