Have you got any situations in life you can share that have meant you have had to persevere, even through the difficult times? Situations where you have had to keep on keeping on despite the circumstances?
We are called to persevere a lot in God’s Word and it’s something I have noticed a lot when reading the bible recently. I googled ‘define: persevere’ and it came up as ‘Continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no indication of success.’ I don’t know about you, but I have found myself in so many situations like that! Sometimes it’s like, ‘This looks hopeless! I surely won’t be able to get through this’. But the sun does keep rising and setting and somehow we get through each day. Each challenge we face, we can and will overcome it. I think perseverance is key. I don’t believe it works on its own either. I mean endurance, hope, faith, eye on the prize, strength, willpower… I think they are all interlinking and overlapping with one another. But perseverance speaks out leaps and bounds to me at the moment, so I definately want that to be the focus of this post!
Growing up with a sister with cerebral palsy, I have been raised in a house where perseverance is definately essential and is something that has strenghtened my family as a whole over the years. We are a work in progress. And our walk with God is exactly the same. A work in progress! Zoe was told she wouldn’t be able to do so many different things because of her condition. There were times when she was about 2 years old when night after night she would be violently sick and me and Mum would be in her room in the early hours cleaning up sick, changing sheets and clothes, putting a wash on, comforting each other… sometimes it felt like breaking point. That it would never ever end. This was something we would have to accept. But by the grace of God, with the encouragement and support of each other and the reminder that we would get through this and Zoe would not be sick forever, we persevered. Zoe is no longer sick in the night like she used to be. She can sit up, walk, talk… even though it may seem like she is behind to others, she has improved leaps and bounds throughout her life. She continues to be a blessing to everyone she meets. She has the determination and the smile that can capture anyone’s heart! Sometimes, reactions to Zoe’s disaibility have been ‘How can you believe in a God that allows her to be disabled?’ or you get the super spiritual ‘We pray for complete healing for her, she will be healed!’ Zoe is still disabled and we still believe in God.
Jesus says in John 9:3 on why a man was born blind: ‘this happened so the work of God might be displayed in his life.’ This verse has spoken to me so many times and everytime I read it, it reminds me that God has a plan for every single one of us. My family have been humbled because of Zoe’s disability and those around her have been affected in many ways. She is an encouragement and a reminder what can be achieved with perseverance.
For those of you that know me or have followed my blog posts, you will know that I had Hodgkins Disease last year which is a type of blood cancer. I had to persevere through 6 months of chemotherapy. This is actually not as bad as those I have met in hospital who were undergoing treatment for several days a week and several years at a time. They are persevering through the battle. Taking a day at a time. It is a battle. However, we keep on keeping on. I set myself little goals. I had treatment every two weeks. The first week I knew would be pretty rough for me, but I would plan exciting things for the following week when I felt better. My kind neighbours, friends and my family gave me treats every now and then to perk up my mood and encourage me which all helped me to persevere.
God’s Word really does speak about perseverence and it is in all of us to keep fighting the good fight of faith and to keep on keeping on! Through the trials we can get through it all. Nothing is too big that the Lord cannot guide us through it. The following verses really hit home and I carry these with me throughout my life experiences and I hope they will be a source of comfort for you too!
Romans 5: 3-5
3 Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.’
James 1: 3-4
3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
Hebrews 12: 1-3
1 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 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he 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 sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
I hope this has encouraged you all to keep persevering when time’s get hard – because you are not alone and everything is possible when God is at the centre of it. He has displayed His faithfulness to me and my family time and time again and He displays His love for us all on a daily basis. I just pray that hearts will open to see how great God is! Hope you all have a fantastic week ahead and keep on keeping on!
Love from Ruthie -xxxxxxxxx- 🙂