“To knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness.”
to self-control perseverance
The third building block of Christian character is “perseverance.” We add “perseverance” to our faith.
“Perseverance” comes from two words: under and remain. This word carries the ideas of endurance, fortitude, stead-fastness. A person with perseverance remains under the situation. He hangs in there through trial and testing. “Perseverance” carries the idea of endurance especially in trials (Lu 21:19; Ro 12:12; He. 12:7; Ja 1:12; 1 Pe. 2:20).
A person with perseverance stay under the load no matter what adversity may come his way (Ro. 5:3-4; 15:4-5; 2 Co. 1:6; 6:4; Co. 1:11; 1 Th. 1:3; 2 Th. 1:4; Ja 1:3). However, this is not endurance of the inevitable. Jesus could have extricated Himself of His suffering (He 12:2,3). He not only sustained suffering but He struggled with suffering. On the other hand, he did not maintain stupid insensibility toward the struggle with suffering. He did not approach suffering with stubborn resolve but faced suffering with apprehension (Ps 22:1; Mt 27:46).
The New Testament never asserts “self-control” of God because God is all-powerful.
The Christian should be stable under pressure.
The Christian should develop unswerving steadfastness in trial. When disasters come your way, how do you handle them? Do you have an inner order of soul? A person with stability in suffering does not beat his head against the wall. He orients to God’s plan for his life. Disaster is part of God’s plan for our lives.
The Christian life is no easy road. However, this road has hope. The Christian does not simply accept whatever may come his way. He transcends endurance. He holds out with long endurance because of his hope.
Ro 5: 3 “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4and perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
Tribulation produces patience or endurance. Trouble, well-managed, makes the believer a seasoned veteran. He does not whine about his problems for that is a sign of immaturity. Children whine about predicaments.
He 12: 1 “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. 4You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. 5And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
6For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.’
7If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?”
We do not run with “patience” but with “endurance.” Endurance means stick-to-itiveness. Tenacity enables us to say, “I will not quit. It is too soon to quit.” This Christian does not throw in the towel. He does not have a yellow streak down his back.
One of the first things we want to do when someone criticizes us is to quit. Who wants to known as a quitter? We need to develop the attitude that, “This too shall pass. God will give me the endurance to hang in there.” Stick with it. Running from the problem is no solution because you will run into the same problem wherever you go. You are still the same person there as well. You take yourself with you. It will not profit you to run from the problem.
Are you about to quit your education? Are you ready to resign your position? “Oh, what is the use? This situation is too difficult to resolve. I did not do well on my last exam. I might as well give up.” One of the presidents of a college I attended gave a message in chapel each year entitled, “Don’t quit too soon.” Ask the Lord to give you strength to go on. You will be amazed to find out what you can do when God gives us a “second wind.” Plug on! God will see you through.
Do you stay with the “stuff” by getting a grip on yourself? Have you developed unwavering perseverance in the trials of your life?