3 Keys to Perseverance

Nothing truly significant in our lives gets accomplished without perseverance.  The ability to be tenacious, steadfast, and work through challenges without giving up is an important quality to develop and an essential quality for building our Christian character.  The challenge is that everyone needs and wants the quality of perseverance, but nobody enjoys going through the struggles and trials required to build perseverance into our lives.   James 1:2-4 tells us to consider it “joy” when we encounter trials because this is a testing of our faith designed to produce perseverance in us.  James goes on to say that perseverance must complete its work in us so that we might become mature.  Listen to the April 22 sermon, “The Perseverance Test.”

Let me offer three keys to perseverance: 

  1. First, remember that there will be storms and struggles in life.  We often fail to persevere because we have unrealistic expectations that life should be easy or relatively trouble free.  Jesus tells us just the opposite, “in this world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33).  Accepting that life will be difficult and that there will be struggles helps us prepare to persevere.  Paul tells Timothy to “endure hardship as a good soldier of Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3).  We don’t have to be pessimistic, but we should be realistic about the storms and struggles of life.
  2. A second key is to remember that the purpose of life is to grow mature in our faith and character.  Perseverance helps us with that (James 1:2-4).  God is more interested in our maturity level than our comfort level, so there will be periods of our lives where we will need to deal with uncomfortable circumstances and challenges.  God intends to work it all for good (Romans 8:28), but we must remember that the purpose of life is growth, and growth requires struggle, and struggle requires perseverance.
  3. A final key is to remain confident in God’s power. Ultimately, we do not persevere on our own, we persevere through the power of Christ at work within us (Philippians 4:13).  We can and should be confident that the Lord who began a good work in us will bring it to completion and we will be witnesses of His power and goodness in our lives (Philippians 1:6).

Pastor Mark Miller

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About Heather McEntee

Director of Communications at Virginia Beach United Methodist. Background in small business and non-profit operations, marketing, and sales for the past 13 years.