Understanding how to apply perserverance through trials and afflictions
Perseverance is not something we talk about much anymore. It sounds like an old word from some other time in history. Now we talk about making demands and our personal perspectives being instantly and unquestioningly accepted by those around us. We now live in a society where it is not about hard work or building something from the ground up; it is about claiming whatever anyone else has as mine simply because I have a voice. It's too bad. In history, the greatest positive changes in all the world happened largely because of perseverance. Gandhi persevered, Martin Luther King, Jr. persevered, allied soldiers in the World Wars persevered. Jesus not only personally persevered, he taught us how to do it ourselves.
Perseverance vs. Endurance
It is easy to confuse perseverance and endurance because they are similarly defined. When we think of endurance, we might envision someone or something that weathers the test of time and pressure. The Parthenon is an ancient Greek temple that has endured history and stands to tell a story. When we think of perseverance, we might envision someone who has progressed through a difficult challenge against the odds. It has been said that Thomas Edison had 1,000 failed experiments before he invented the light bulb. The key here is the thought of progressing towards something versus the thought of weathering a storm. Perseverance is an exercise in movement. This subtle difference carries with it a world of meaning.
Depending on what we are facing, the act of persevering can look like many different things. For Jonathan, a 14-year-old young man, perseverance looks very specific. Jonathan has a serious case of Scoliosis, a curvature of the spine. Many cases of this disease are relatively minor, but the serious ones like Jonathan’s become debilitating and lead to necessary surgery. Jonathan needs to exercise up to two hours a day, seven days a week to try and keep it from getting worse. If any one of us were faced with a demanding regiment of two hours per day of doing anything, we would be challenged. For this young man, the challenge is not just physical but mental as well, as he must continue to stay motivated. How does he do that?
Check out our January 4, 2021 podcast, “How Can I Persevere When Life Gets Tough? (Part I)” for more. We hear Jonathan explain his journey of faith, discipline and perseverance and find several nuggets of inspiration along the way. We also examine how the Bible describes perseverance. This is also revealing. Several scriptures in our common translations sound “nice” and “encouraging” are actually serious calls to action.
Christian faithfulness is squarely built upon persevering. To walk in Jesus' footsteps is by definition perseverance. Join us for Part I of this 2-part series as we uncover the many aspects of what a persevering life looks like. Come with us on this journey of discovery, growth and inspiration!
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