What do you think when you hear the word perseverance? Do you relate it to achieving your goal weight, getting through a tough situation, or creating new habits? Recently, the rover Perseverance made headlines by landing on Mars! That is cool! but, not the perseverance I am talking about. Merriam-Webster defines perseverance as: continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition. Looking at your life, where do you see your own personal perseverance shine or need work?
I can’t look back and remember putting much thought into my own perseverance until I was in a Bible study about 12 years ago. Each week there was a verse to memorize, and I faithfully went home and memorized it. I remember the Bible study leader making the comment, “of course you did” after I came back the only one who memorized it. It’s crazy, but I felt shame with that comment. God is always telling us we don’t need to live in shame. The verse I memorized that week confirmed it.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5
To this day I remember how those words spoke to me. I remember the realization I wasn’t a lost cause. Sure, I had my share of sufferings, but before that moment, I didn’t know they could be used to strengthen my hope. I knew I could start with perseverance! Perseverance to character; character to hope – a package without shame. Why? Because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
Think about this. Where do you hold your sufferings most? In your heart! Doesn’t that say something about God’s compassion that He covers your heart with His love. And not just a splash, but a pouring over your heart. God doesn’t want you to stay in your sufferings. He doesn’t want you to feel you are a lost cause because He doesn’t see you as that. Not even close. He knows your worth, and He knows your strength.
He knows your Spunky Faith!