Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Learning to Persevere Part 2

Submitted by David Miller

We discovered from yesterday’s devotion that our patience and perseverance increases when we start to love someone more and when we ask God to renew our love for them. But along with our love we find that we grow in perseverance when we grow in faith.

Growing in faith also produces perseverance, making it possible to stay the course when you are tired of the battle. As it is in the nature of grass to grow, so it is in the nature of faith to persevere.

I personally have found that at the times when I get jaded or discouraged usually turn out to be times when I have lost sight of what the Lord is doing or lost confidence in what He is able to do in my own life and in the lives of the people around me. Seeing that connection is really helpful because its points to the answer: Renewed confidence in God, and in all that He is able to do in you and through you, will help you to persevere even when you are tired of the battle.

When you know that faith and love are roots that nourish perseverance, it will help you to stay the course in prayer. Picture this scenario: You’ve been praying for an unbelieving friend or loved one for a long time, but nothing has happened and you’re getting discouraged. You can ask the Lord to help you persevere in prayer, but you might find it more helpful to get to the roots of the matter and ask Him to increase your faith in His ability to change this person.  Or to apply this to the times when you get tired of the battle against a particular sin; ask the Lord to increase your faith in His power to overcome this evil in your life and to help you love Him more than you love the sin that entangles you. That strikes at the root of the problem! Growing in faith and in love for Christ will be the means by which you will be able to persevere in this battle.

Robert Murray M’Cheyne said, “It is not great gifts that God uses so much as great likeness to Jesus.”  Think about the role of faith and love in Christ’s perseverance through his suffering. When people were taunting Jesus and calling him to come down from the cross, it was love that made him stay there. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).    When Jesus was surrounded by darkness, he trusted Himself into the hands of the Father and placed in confidence in the ultimate triumph of God. 

Seeing the connection between faith, love, and perseverance has helped me at the low points in my life and it will do the same for you. Renew your confidence in God, refresh your love for others, and you will find that God strengthens you to stay the course even when you are tired of the battle.

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