We’re almost done with my series on love and I’m excited to start writing my book again about this subject! I can’t wait to get more in-depth. But, in the meantime, we’re going to continue with this series today on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 with “Love always perseveres.”
First, what does it mean to persevere? Well, the dictionary defines it as to “continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success.”
That sounds like many of our lives, doesn’t it? My first thought when I read that was, “Do we even have a choice? Don’t we have to persevere?” But then the Holy Spirit reminded me that many people give up in life. They give up on businesses, on books, on dreams that God has placed in their heart because the way is hard and you can’t accomplish any dream without facing difficulties. But if we want to walk in love and live a fulfilled life, we have to learn to persevere.
Receive the Promise
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. (Hebrews 10:36)
If you want to receive the promises that God has given to you, whether through His Word or through those secret promises He has spoken to your heart, you have to learn how to persevere. We all face difficulties in life. That is just part of walking with Christ (and even non-Christians face difficulties) and certainly part of achieving your dreams. When those challenges come at you, you need to take the hand of Jesus and hold on tight, standing firm in your faith, and refusing – no matter what happens – to let go of your God-given dreams. It is never easy to achieve your dreams and God isn’t going to make it easy. Why? Because we need godly character to become the women God designed us to be. And the only way to get that godly character is to go through hard time and trials.
Perseverance Can Be a Witness
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:16)
Because we all go through hard times, even non-Christians, it is incredibly important how we handle those times. For non-Christians, the trials are harder because they don’t turn to God and won’t rely on Him. Instead, they get depressed, become alcoholics or addicted to something else, and many of them lead miserable lives or just give up on their dreams because they can’t get through the hard times. Now, I know that isn’t true of all non-Christians because there are some who have become extremely successful by persevering through the hard times. But it is a pretty small percentage.
But Christians must be different. If our lives and reactions are exactly like a non-Christian, how can we possibly be a good witness to them? Christians should be the happiest, most joy-filled, content people on the planet because we have the Lord God. And trust me, I am convicted of this even as I write it. I have a tendency to be downcast and miserable when things aren’t going well. But God is teaching me to be filled with joy and hope and peace no matter what my circumstances because He loves me and He is in control. If we want to be a good witness to the unsaved and lead them to Christ, we have to learn how to persevere with peace and joy in our hearts (and on our faces).
Blessed in Perseverance
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)
Not only does perseverance bring about blessings here on earth, it also gives us the ultimate blessing which is the crown of life that we receive when we reach heaven. Jesus will be able to say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant,” which is the best thing that any one of us could here at the end of our lives. Don’t you want to reach the end of your life and be able to look back and say with Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (1 Timothy 4:7) I know I certainly do. But if we give up when times get tough, we’ll never be able to say that. We’ll live a life full of regrets and unfulfillment, unhappy and depressed.
If you want to live a life of which you can be proud, a life filled with joy, fulfillment, contentment, and godly accomplishments, then you need to keep fighting, keep persevering, and remember to always keep your eyes on Jesus. It is through His strength that we will come through and become all God created us to be!