“to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness.”
to self-control perseverance
The fifth building block of Christian character is “perseverance.” We add “perseverance” to our active faith.
“Perseverance” comes from two words: under and remain. This word carries the ideas of endurance, fortitude, or steadfastness. A person with perseverance remains under the pressures of difficulty and does not succumb. He hangs in there through trial and testing. “Perseverance” carries the idea of endurance, especially during a trial (Lu 21:19; Ro 12:12; He. 12:7; Jas 1:12; 1 Pe. 2:20).
A person with perseverance stays 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; Jas 1:3). This is not the endurance of the inevitable for Jesus could have extricated Himself from His suffering (He 12:2,3). He persevered through personal grief and agony. However, the Lord did not maintain stupid insensibility toward His struggle. He did not approach suffering from stubborn resolve but acknowledged that the Father had a purpose and plan for Him.
The Christian should exercise stability under pressure.
The Christian should develop unswerving steadfastness in a trial. When disasters come your way, how do you handle them? Do you have 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 us; He has a purpose in everything.
The Christian life is no easy road. However, this road has hope that rests on God’s sovereignty. The Christian does not cave to whatever may come his way, but his expectancy enables him to transcend his pain. He holds out with long endurance because his hope rests on his faith.
Ro 5:3-4, “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 by faith, makes the believer a seasoned veteran. He does not lament his problems, which indicates immaturity. Immature children complain about their predicaments.
He 12:1-7, “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. But who wants to be 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 because He is in control.” Stick with it. Running from the problem is no solution because you will encounter another problem wherever you go. You will be 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 from 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.” The President of a college I attended gave a message in chapel each year entitled, “Don’t quit too soon.” Ask the Lord to provide you with the strength to go on. You will be amazed to discover 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 by faith?