Per·se·ver·ance /pərsəˈvirəns/ – Noun: Steadfastness of purpose despite obstacles, delays, setbacks or discouragement.
Perseverence, or staying power, is one of seven key pillars in our Methodology for Compassionate Work. Sometimes, our vision takes time to come to fruition. And when it does, it's easy to grow disheartened. This is nothing new; it's part of the human condition.
The Gospel of Matthew advises us that "he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Matthew 24:13) So, in this post, we take a closer look at some key aspects of perseverence, including relentless determination, avoiding unnecessary wanderings, and staying self-aware and refreshed.
BE RELENTLESS, EVEN IN UNJUST SITUATIONS
It is especially easy to lose heart in the face of what appears to be corruption or injustice. But there is another course we can take. We can follow the example of the widow, in Jesus' parable of the Unjust Judge:
Jesus said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.' "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually come and attack me!'" (Luke 18:2-5)
In this parable, although the judge was corrupt, the widow was persistent in her demands. She kept on coming back. And back. And her persistence eventually wore the judge down, and paid off for her. As Jesus continues, "...and will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly..."
WALK IN FAITH – DON'T PROLONG THE WILDERNESS
Consider the story of Moses, who brings his people out of bondage in Egypt. The people forgot the blessing, and began complaining. They complained about a lack of food, and of water, forgetting to trust. Forgetful of the blessing of freedom and of the pain involved in slavery, they even complained about the supernatural food – manna sent from heaven, as compared with the food in Egypt. Later, when ten of twelve spies came back from the promised land with a negative report, they complained even more. And as a result, they moved about in that desert wilderness for 40 years, until the unbelieving generation died off. (see Numbers 10-33).
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts.- Proverbs 21:2
Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain – Psalm 127:1
Sometimes, when our efforts don't seem to be paying off, it's worthwhile to ponder our hearts, asking ourselves the difficult question of whether the vision we're laboring toward is truly God-inspired. For the psalmist writes that we labor in vain when we labor out of alignment with God. See the post on Vision, which is meant to help with the discernment process.
REFRESH YOURSELF WITH GOD
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. – Matthew 11:28-30
He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. – Isaiah 40:29
What's the best way to stay the course? Be relentless. Walk in faith. Be self-aware. Take care of the body, staying rested and well nourished. Do not lose heart.
And so, in the words of Paul, "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost" (Romans 15:13).
What are WebDefs?
WebDefs – simple definitions of key terms relating to ministry and healing arts – are a regular feature of NHM Ministrants. Offered (where applicable) in conjunction with select key scriptural passages and analysis, WebDefs can be a useful starting place for exploring a topic of interest.