2019-03-22 12:22:36

Perseverance : strength or weakness?

For first century Christians, suffering was the rule rather than the exception. Paul in the bible tells us that in the future we will become, but until then we must overcome. This means that we will experience difficulties that help us grow. We rejoice in suffering not because we like pain or deny its tragedy, but because we know God is using difficulties of life and attacks of Satan to build our character. No matter how you feel, Get up, Dress up , Show up and Never give up.

Photo credits: @Wilson le rêveur

Romans 5:3-4

3 Not only so , but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance , perseverance, character; and character , hope.

The problem that we run into everyday develop our perseverance , which in turn strengthen our character, deepen our trust in God and give us greater confidence about the future. You probably find your patience tested in some way every day. Thank God for those opportunities to grow, and deal with them in his strength. Paul offers a glimpse into the future to give us hope that one day we will be complete when we see God face to face. This truth should strengthen  our faith. We do not have all the answers now, but one day we will. Someday we will see Christ in person and be able to see with the perspective of God.

In 2015, I lost my little brother in a tragic car accident. He was an amazing and kindhearted person that I was not ready to lose. He was super protective of me , that I sometimes felt that he was the big brother. When I lost him , I felt pain that I have never felt before. It was horrible and then I remembered that he was a strong, persevering and patient person. The time of mourning I got inspired by that  impressive personality that he had and I faced the pain that I was feeling. I gave all my sufferings to God and I started feeling more his presence and the one of my little brother in my life. Ever since that day, he became my guardian angel.

2 Thessalonians 3:5

5 May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and The perseverance of Christ. 

The truth is that we do not usually think of suffering as good for us, but it can build our character and patience. During times of great stress, we may feel the presence of God more clearly and find help from church and other christians we never thought would care. Knowing that Jesus Christ is with us in our suffering and that he will return one day to put an end to all the pain helps us grow in our faith and our relationship with him. We do not need to abandon our faith in times of persecution, but to show endurance that our faith is real.  Faith here simply means resting in what Jesus Christ has done for us in the past, but it also means trusting him for what he will do for us in the present and the future.

James 1:2-4

2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds. Because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete , not lacking anything.

The point is not to pretend to be happy when we face pain, but to have a positive outlook ( “consider it pure joy”) because of what trials can produce in our lives. James tells us to turn our hardships into learning. Tough times can teach us perseverance. When we can not really know the depth of our character until we see how we react under pressure. It is easy to be kind to others when everything is going well, but can we still be kind when others are treating us unfairly? God wants to make us mature and complete , not keep us from all pain. Instead of complaining about our struggles, we should see them as opportunities for growth. Thank God for promising to be with us in rough times. Ask him to solve your problems or to give you the strength to endure them. Then be patient. God will not leave you alone with your problems; he will stay close and help you grow.

Prayer starter: Dear Heavenly Father, remind me that pain and trials are there for me to grow and strengthen my character. Give me the strength to persevere and be patient. I rest all my existence in your hands, for I know that you are God of grace and you have done a lot of me in the past and  I trust you, for what you will do for me in the present and the future. 

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