Thankfully the situation worldwide and here in the UK regarding coronavirus is very slowly beginning to improve. We must continue on with lockdown though…. we must carry on this strange way of living…. we must persevere. I’m conscious that for some people that means more hardship and more heartache.
There are lots of references to perseverance, or endurance, in the Bible. Apart from Jesus, Job is the man I’m sure we all think of in terms of perseverance! He persevered through some of the most awful circumstances. He lost all his children, cattle and servants at the same time! He persevered by worshipping God. I don’t think that would be the first thing on my mind if my children were taken from me! He was then struck with loathsome sores all over. He persevered by rebuking his wife for her blasphemy and by declaring that God was sovereign whatever the circumstances, good or bad. His 3 friends then taunt him for what seems like an eternity and although he does get discouraged and begins to question God, he holds fast through it all. He held on to God and persevered through extremely difficult times. Through his faithfulness God restored to him much more than he had before.
In Romans 5 v 3–5 we read:
‘We can rejoice too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.’
And in James 1 v 2–4
‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers, 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.’
Note that neither Paul nor James say ‘if’ trouble comes your way but ‘when’! We will all have ‘trails and tribulations’ during our earthly life. The very good news though is that we don’t have to persevere in our own strength.
‘I can do all things through him who gives me strength’ Phil 4 v 13
When we feel like giving in or giving up, it is God’s strength that enables us to persevere in times of pain and hardship. It is our total confidence that Christ will complete the work he began in us that enables us to persevere over a lifetime.
I pray for all those having to endure great hardship and heartache at this time and who do not know God. I pray that in their desperation they will turn to God and find comfort.