Have you ever run a marathon or some long distance race of some sort? You put in weeks, even months, of training your body and building the stamina needed to run 26.2 miles. You race. You may not win, but you get past the leg cramps, water stations, even that dreaded mile 20, and you finish. Not many people can honestly put those 26.2 bumper stickers on the back of their cars. Finishing a marathon is quite the accomplishment.
Just like runners show perseverance on the track, Christians often have to show perseverance in their faith. Jesus never promised that following Him would be easy. In fact, He said quite the opposite. “In this world you will have trouble.” But in the next breath He encourages His disciple with these words. “But have no fear, I have won the battle over the world.”
Jesus won the battle over the world as He persevered through the worst: rejection, violence, heartache, and even death itself—all to rescue us. This is why the author of Hebrews told us to “fix our eyes on Jesus.”
In fact, the author of Hebrews has a lot to say to his audience about perseverance. See, life was very difficult for these early Christian as they were persecuted for their faith. They were forced into hiding. They met secretly in fear of violence. By simply continuing to believe that Jesus was the Son of God, the early Christians were seen as outcasts. So, the book of Hebrews was written to remind those Christians to refuse to give up. Even though life had gotten hard, they needed to keep doing what they knew was best for them to do.
This month, we’ll spend most of our time in the book of Hebrews where we’ll discover more about what the Bible says about perseverance. We define perseverance as refusing to give up when life gets hard. We have the chance to lean in to them and say: “Don’t give up. Persevere in your faith. Trust God no matter what.”
When it comes down to it, we all have experienced things that we would have never experienced if we didn’t push through the difficult times. When you get to the other side, you’ll see something that you would have never seen before—if you just believe in what God can do and what God can do in you.
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