The greatest tragedy in Christian living is to have a good beginning but fail to capitalize on it.
People get distracted, get sidetracked and lose sight of the reward that God has kept for them. Thus they backslide and fail to fulfill the purpose for which God had called them.
What is the cause of such a failure? It can be nothing but lack of perseverance.
Perseverance is that quality which enables you to keep on moving towards your goal in spite of every obstacle, difficulty, doubt, discouragement and opposition. A person who perseveres does not stop till he reaches his goal.
Look at the life of Jesus Christ. The Bible asks you to have the perseverance of Christ: “May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and [Christ’s perseverance] (2 Thessalonians 3:5 NIV).
Why did Jesus need to have perseverance? The answers can make you think? He came to this world which was made through Him but the world did not recognize Him. He came to His own people but they did not receive Him but instead rejected Him (Ref, John 1:10,11).
He was threatened to be killed from His birth onwards (Ref. Matthew 2:16, 12:14, 26:4). His own brothers did not believe in Him (Ref. John 7:5). Pharisees and Sadducees, the religious leaders of His day were always trying to trap Him with matters of the Law or even payment of taxes.
His disciples were slow of heart to believe what He said. Added to that, Jesus knew that one day one of them would betray Him and another one would deny knowing Him.
As you think of the disciples as they really were, a bunch of men who were selfish, not having much education, having rough character; you would really appreciate the perseverance of Jesus in building such a team.
The important thing is that Jesus persevered through the demanding schedule that He had. In the midst of healing multitudes, casting away demons and performing other miracles, He found time to spend time with His Father in prayer and also to teach His disciples.
Many times He went hungry and He couldn’t find time for Himself to be alone. Yet He kept on moving ahead to reach the goal of the cross. This is perseverance.
The Bible asks you to “run with perseverance the race that is marked out for us” (Ref. Hebrews 12:1). It tells you to do so by fixing your eyes on Jesus who endured such opposition from sinful men.
By looking to Him and following His example, you can avoid becoming weary and losing heart when struggles pressurize your heart much.
It is also important to note that the Bible tells that Jesus looked ahead to His reward–the joy that was set before Him. That enabled Him to endure the shame of the cross (Ref Hebrews 12:2).
Similarly, the Bible speaks thus: “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” (Hebrews 10:36 NIV).
So, look ahead to the crowns and rewards that God has kept for you when you are hard-pressed on every side. This will help you persevere just as Jesus did.
The Bible gives two specific examples of people who persevered. One is Moses. The Bible says “he persevered because he saw him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27b NIV). So look to Jesus. That will help you persevere.
Another example is that of Job: “As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about” (James 5:11a NIV). So, there is a blessing in persevering.
Peter says that those who have suffered is done with sin: “As a result, he does not live the rest of his life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God” (1 Peter 4:2 NIV).
The conclusion of the matter is that nothing worthwhile and nothing significant enough to impact time and eternity will ever come to pass without perseverance. This is the message you get from the life of Jesus who persevered.
Summary: Without perseverance no one can fulfill God’s will in his life.
Table of Contents
Lessons of God’s Will from the Life of Jesus
1. Choices Jesus Made
2. Peace Jesus Enjoyed
3. Jesus Pleased God
4. Jesus was Purpose-Driven
5. Jesus’ Sense of Timing
6. Higher Priorities Jesus Had
7. Christ’s Perseverance