The old saying goes: Life is a marathon, not a sprint. This saying is often used to encourage someone who is beginning or in the middle of a tough season of life. The problem is, it is rarely encouraging because very few of us even like the idea of running a marathon! Perseverance is a quality we all admire and need, but similar to patience, is something that is painful to develop.
In Romans 5, we learn that perseverance leads to something immeasurably valuable: hope. Paul writes, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Going back to the marathon vs. sprint analogy, anyone can run hard for a short distance, but to go a great distance takes time, training, and a determined heart and mind. When weariness hits, the urge we must fight is to stop moving. The more you run, the longer you can go, and longer you can go, the further you will travel, and the further you travel, the more hope you have of reaching the end of the race. Similar to an actual marathon, our spiritual life needs perseverance when times get hard. Some seasons of life will be harder, heavier, and longer than others, but we must keep our faith In Christ through it all. He did not go to the cross on our behalf to allow us to be crushed by hardships. Remember His love and grace, and let it strengthen you to persevere.
This week, our Heritage children will be learning the importance of perseverance from hearing more of the story of Abraham. Abraham had to keep faith when traveling through a new land, while waiting on a promised son, and while enduring family hardships and conflicts. Abraham had moving stress, marriage problems, and was even faced with a test of having to sacrifice his only son. Abraham’s faith strengthened him to persevere, and so will ours. Lean on God this week, and may He carry you through it all.