THIS WEEK: 7 Things to Add to Your Faith to Be an Effective Christian!
2 Peter 1:5 “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance;…”
Do you know the difference between patience and perseverance?
I can be patient waiting for a box to come from Amazon resting in my easy chair with my favorite beverage. There is no physical effort exerted to be patient. Perhaps patience does demand a level of self-control to not get irritated or upset!
Perseverance, is not a passive waiting, but an active effort to reach a goal.
Yesterday I was running on 1.6 mile trail at a local park. My goal was finish under 29 minutes for two laps or 3.2 miles. The second lap I was ready to give up and just walk the rest of the way. But I had just dropped off our younger daughter for volleyball tryouts and had reminded her of MTIXE (Mental Toughness, Intensity, eXtra Effort). I couldn’t give up – even though I am not in great shape. One foot in front of the next. My legs were tired. My breathing heavy. But I touched the end marker…27:45! (Don’t read too much into this…a morning run doesn’t make a marathoner!) But it felt good to persevere and reach the goal.
Trust in Jesus as Savior is the foundation of saving faith. However, living the Christian faith is a daily challenge, a regular struggle, a race that is tiring…and we feel like giving up. We face criticism. We face opposition. We get tired fighting our sinful nature. We weary from a culture that runs counter to our Christian convictions. It’s tough to live as a stranger in this world.
We feel like giving up.
That’s why we need to add to faith…perseverance. The will and effort to NEVER give up! Losing the goal isn’t just missing a personal best on 3.2 miles, it is missing out on heaven.
When you feel like giving up, remember the goal.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
How can we add perseverance to our faith? Hebrews 12:1-3 helps:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Fix your eyes on Jesus and don’t give up. Add to your faith, perseverance!
Apply: How will setting your eyes on Jesus today help you persevere in the challenges you face today?
PRAYER: Lord, when I feel like giving up, strengthen me to persevere…to keep going! AMEN