I am always grieved when I hear stories of people who have walked away from Christ because something bad has happened to them or to someone they know. It’s tragic because God has told us we will suffer this side of heaven (Romans 8:18); He’s told us that the whole world is under the sway of the evil one (1 John 5:19), and we know this isn’t heaven. But because we know God is good, we may wonder, But why isn’t He making it good right now?
I believe the person who lives by faith is neither overly optimistic (they don’t expect life to be a bed of roses), and neither are they pessimistic. Instead, they are realistic based on what Scripture says. They know that until we get to heaven, that our days will be split between blessings and hardship, even while we always have Christ’s presence (Hebrews 13:5). They also know that when Christ comes, He will give relief to those who belong to Him (2 Thessalonians 1:6) and He will reward them (1 Corinthians 9:25; 2 Timothy 4:8; Revelation 2:10)
Until then, we are called to persevere.
James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man [or woman] who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
My New Testament Word Study Bible says that the person who perseveres is the one “who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose or his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings.”
What’s your greatest trial and suffering? Have you persevered and kept your loyalty to faith? Are you standing strong in spite of what you see in your circumstances?
In light of these questions, I wrote out the following for myself. Perhaps you’d like to claim it as your own and maybe add a line or two.
When it takes longer than I’d like for a prayer to be answered, I will persevere and keep believing.
When I lose someone I love, I will persevere and keep believing.
When others mock me for my faith, I will persevere and keep believing.
When my plans for my purpose don’t turn out like I planned, I will persevere and keep believing.
When my loved ones don’t meet my expectations, I will persevere and keep believing.
When I sin and fail God, I will persevere and keep believing.
If I become ill, I will persevere and keep believing.
If my dreams don’t come true, I will persevere and keep believing.
In even the greatest trials and sufferings, I will persevere and keep believing because that what true believers do.
They persevere. They believe.