Want More Persevere(ability)?
Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour—1 Peter 5:8
The ability to persevere—to remain strong and steadfast in the face of difficulties and delays and distractions—is a fundamental skill, necessary for any man choosing to devote himself to our King, Jesus Christ. He showed us how in the wilderness and against the temptations that followed (Matthew 4:1-11). Like him, we too must bear up against the pressures of the world, and not only for a while, but until the very end of our days. Though any one trial or temptation may be short lived, there’s always something out there capable of our destruction.
Preparedness is paramount. You see, when we’re unprepared and trouble comes (at work, in our relationships, our finances, our health) it takes us down: into anxiety, anger, bitterness, despondency, depression, isolation. When we’re unprepared and temptations come (material, carnal, moral) they too take us down: away from God and into sin. Compounding our lack of preparedness, the enemy is always quick with interference and misinformation.
“You won’t make it.”
“This’ll be long and difficult . . . too long, too difficult for you.”
“You’re alone, forgotten.”
“You won’t have strength enough to persevere.”
“You should just give up/give in now, and avoid the grief of waiting just to give up/in later.”
Okay, so what do we do?
Perseverance isn’t innate; it’s learned. All of us can do it if we train. So, brother, manufacture some pressure and train yourself. Push your limits, physically, mentally, spiritually: climb a tough summit; tackle a hike of many miles; fast for a period of days; turn devices off and embrace quiet and solitude and prayer for an uncomfortable period. Remember, God designed you for perseverance. So, by training, you’ll simply learn what you’re made of (plus you’ll expose the lies of the enemy). It doesn’t take much to learn a whole lot about yourself.