Perseverance. A word that speaks to us of continuance, of persistence, of not giving up! Indeed, perseverance can be of a delightful nature, "if" it is applied to something we truly enjoy experiencing in our lives. But what if something requiring perseverance on our part, is of a most difficult nature? And what if it is to be of a lasting nature? Perhaps something that might take years, or even an entire lifetime of enduring? So often we attempt to escape that which we should, instead, persevere in ... that which to us, might be most difficult to remain strong in the midst of. God views such perseverance as pleasing, as it requires that we entrust ourselves into His keeping. Let's take a look at what it means to persevere, according to God's word. There is only one verse listed in the King James bible, where "perseverance" can be found, and that's in Ephesians 6:18. I'd like to add here, when time permits, you would do well to read this scripture verse in it's full context: see Ephesians 6:10-20. In this writing, I will be addressing verses 17-18.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints (Eph 6:17-18 KJV).
Perseverance, applied to this text is speaking of persevering, or being persistent, in "prayer". It is not speaking of perseverance to be strong, in the midst of our deepest, darkest trials, but rather, it is speaking of our hearts persevering, that is persisting, and continuing in an attitude of prayer, reliant of course upon the Holy Spirit. It's not about "me being strong" by being persistent in the midst of my trials, that I might "hang in there" as the saying goes. It's about persistence in prayer. If we were to live in a state of continual prayer, according to 1 Thessalonians 5:17, we would, as this verse declares, find ourselves praying without ceasing. To do so, we'd no longer find ourselves controlled by the weight of our trials and tribulations, but rather, we would find ourselves walking a life of faith in the promises of God's word, as our hearts would be continually focusing upon His truth. Oh yes, perhaps the battles would remain, but they would no longer weigh heavy upon us, nor control us, as we would be endued with the strength of God. Our minds would no longer focus on our problems, but rather our minds would continually be focused upon God, who is the very promise of our victory. To apply "perseverance" properly is to understand that this text is not speaking of praying for ourselves only, but rather, we are to prayerfully watch for all saints! But, should we stop there? Have we not been instructed to pray for our loved ones, for the lost, and yes, even for our enemies, as is recorded in Matthew 5:43-48 (especially verse 44)? Were we not instructed to pray for all men (1 Timothy 2:1-4)? Few of us pray this fervently. Most of us are weak in this area of our christian lives. With our busy lives, and the many temptations to "enjoy our free time", we don't take the time we should, to bow our hearts (and our knees) before the Lord, as we ought to. Today, let's commit our hearts to a more dedicated, persistent prayer life, and in doing so, watch God move in ways we've never dreamed possible. May He bless you as you prayerfully seek Him! His love and blessings upon you! Marcia