- Tessa Emily HallContributing Writer
- 202120 Jan
The great international collectors and curators, once celebrated for their perceptiveness and perseverance, are now regularly deplored as traffickers in, or receivers of, stolen goods. Persevere definition, to persist in anything undertaken; maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly.
Life is unbearable at times. The punches it throws at us often knock us down and drains our strength. There comes a time in every person’s life when, in the midst of a trial, we reach a point when we feel as though we simply cannot carry on. But when we lack the motivation to get back up again, we must cling to the hand of the only One who can pull us to our feet. We can gain supernatural strength through relying on God’s Word, and we can also receive inspiration and motivation to keep going by surrounding ourselves with perseverance quotesas we face these trials.
What Is Perseverance according to Christianity?
Perseverance, in general, refers to the grit we possess while continuing to press forward, despite opposition. This determination can be applied to the perseverance we display while reaching toward a dream or goal, such as graduating college or landing a job position. The journey may not always be smooth sailing, but perseverance is a required trait for the one who hopes to reach the finish line.
As Christians, we must display this same kind of determination when it comes to our faith. After all, God never said that living for Him would be easy. We will face persecution. Rejection. Failures. The temptation to blend in with the world and fall away from Christ. It’s during seasons of hopelessness when we may lack the motivation to further the Body of Christ and grow in our walk with God. These trials may even cause us to question God’s goodness, love, sovereignty, faithfulness—and perhaps even His mere existence.
When this happens, let’s not be surprised; after all, the Bible warned us that we would face this kind of suffering and temptation.
So, when it appears as though the enemy of this world is defeating us, how can we gain the strength and motivation we need to persevere?
The first thing we can do is to take a look at what the Bible says about perseverance.
What Does Scripture Say about Perseverance and Trials?
Does it often feel as though you are struggling to run a race while carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders? If so, I’d encourage you to apply the principle found in Hebrews 12:1-3:
“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, 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. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
The race we must run as a Christian involves furthering His Kingdom. We have been commanded to love God, to love others, and to fulfill our part in the Body of Christ. If we lack the perseverance to carry out this mission, perhaps we need to do as the above verse says and “strip off every weight that slows us down,” which includes sin.
We were never intended to run our race while carrying the weight of suffering and sin; after all, isn’t that why Christ died for us? He bore our sin and suffering on the cross, and because of that, we are free to run our race without this unnecessary baggage to slow us down.
Not only that, but we must apply the other part of this verse which states that we must fix our eyes on Jesus. Through Christ, we have already attained victory. Let’s follow His example of enduring suffering, trusting that joy will be found on the other side.
God never promised we would have a trouble-free life; He did, however, promise that good could be resulted because of these trials. Let’s take a look at what the following Scriptures say about this:
“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him” James 1:12.
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love”Romans 5:3-5.
“And we know that God causes everything to work togetherfor the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them”Romans 8:28.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing”James 1:2-4.
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up”Galatians 6:9.
“But the one who endures to the end will be saved”Matthew 24:13.
The only way that God can transform these trials into good is if we continue to persevere. The following verses reinforce the importance of perseverance as a Christian:
“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere”Ephesians 6:18.
“As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good”2 Thessalonians 3:13.
“We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy”James 5:11.
How Do Christians Persevere in Hard Times?
Sometimes we grow weary too easily because we’re trying to fight battles on our own. Why is this, though, when the power that resurrected Christ resides within us? Perhaps we need to apply Exodus 14:14, which reminds us that “The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” We have also been instructed to rely on God’s strength rather than our own:
“Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong”2 Corinthians 12:9.
We, too, can “take pleasure” in our weaknesses during hard times—because it is then that we develop muscles greater than our own. But this only occurs if we become dependent on God during uncomfortable times. And if we begin to lose hope and question God’s sovereignty, we can follow the principle found in Proverbs 3:5-6:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
How do we “acknowledge God?” By seeking Him first in the midst of chaos. We need to continuously feast on His Daily Bread; otherwise, how else are we going to receive the spiritual nourishment we need to keep running?
We can also be encouraged to persevere when we surround ourselves with other believers. God never intended us to walk through life on our own. Ecclesiastes 4:10 reminds us of how other believers can encourage us to keep going when the going gets tough: “If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”
Maybe this is why God stresses the importance of gathering with other believers—because He knows that, without this community, we may become too weak to carry on. Hebrews 10:25 says, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
15 Perseverance Quotes to Strengthen You
“Often, we endure trials seeking God's deliverance from them. Suffering is painful for us to endure or to see those we love endure. While our instinct is to flee trials, remember that even in the midst of suffering, God's will is being done.” —Paul Chappell
“The way to Heaven is ascending; we must be content to travel uphill, though it be hard and tiresome, and contrary to the natural bias of our flesh.” —Jonathan Edwards
“Trials should not surprise us, or cause us to doubt God's faithfulness. Rather, we should actually be glad for them. God sends trials to strengthen our trust in him so that our faith will not fail. Our trials keep us trusting; they burn away our self confidence and drive us to our Savior.” —Edmund Clowney
“The flower that follows the sun does so even in cloudy days.” Robert Leighton
“Endurance comes from minimizing excess baggage and maximizing efforts to achieve God’s battle objectives.” —Jerry Wragg
“God will not permit any troubles to come upon us, unless He has a specific plan by which great blessing can come out of the difficulty.” —Peter Marshall
“The race is not always to the swift but to him who keeps on running.” —Unknown
“The man who has an easy way through life, will be spiritually weak, flabby and impoverished. He won't be able to do all that God wants him to do. But the one who has gone through trials and testing successfully, will be strong and capable of doing all the will of God.” —Zac Poonen
“It's easier to go down a hill than up it but the view is much better at the top.” —Henry Ward Beecher
“Trials are medicines which our gracious and wise physician prescribes because we need them; and he proportions the frequency and weight of them to what the case requires.” —John Newton
“Endurance is the ability to weather a trial without resorting to sinful means of deliverance.” —Lou Priolo
“Press forward. Do not stop, do not linger in your journey, but strive for the mark set before you.” —George Whitefield
“I learned as never before that persistent calling upon the Lord breaks through every stronghold of the devil, for nothing is impossible with God. For Christians in these troubled times, there is simply no other way.”—Jim Cymbala
“We must wake ourselves up! Or somebody else will take our place, and bear our cross, and thereby rob us of our crown.” —William Booth
“To me, it has been a source of great comfort and strength in the day of battle, just to remember that the secret of steadfastness, and indeed, of victory, is the recognition that ‘the Lord is at hand.’' —Duncan Campbell
For the Christian, perseverance requires faith. It requires trusting that, with God’s help, we will reach the end of this trial. Not only will we overcome, but we will somehow witness good become birthed because of the suffering.
God is with us. And instead of simply watching us suffer, He invites us to draw near to Him. To receive the empowering love and strength that conquered the grave. He invites us to release this weight we’ve been carrying and allow Him to fight these battles on our behalf.
If we do this, we will then receive the motivation we need to persevere in doing God’s will. And this determination will then bring us into God’s promises, according to Hebrews 10:36:
“Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.”
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Inside Creative House
Tessa Emily Hall is an award-winning author who wrote her debut novel when she was sixteen. She is now a multi-published author of both fiction and non-fiction inspirational yet authentic books for teens, including her latest release, LOVE YOUR SELFIE (October 2020, Ellie Claire). Tessa's passion for shedding light on clean entertainment and media for teens led her to a career as a Literary Agent at Cyle Young Literary Elite, YA Acquisitions Editor for Illuminate YA (LPC Imprint), and Founder/Editor of PursueMagazine.net. She is guilty of making way too many lattes and never finishing her to-read list. When her fingers aren’t flying 128 WPM across the keyboard, she can be found speaking to teens, teaching at writing conferences, and acting in Christian films. Her favorite way to procrastinate is to connect with readers is on her mailing list, social media (@tessaemilyhall), and website: www.tessaemilyhall.com.
Holman Bible Dictionary
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary
Baker's Evangelical Dictionary
CARM Theological Dictionary
Easton's Bible Dictionary
Spurgeon's Illustration Collection
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Hastings' Dictionary of the NT
1910 New Catholic Dictionary
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
McClintock and Strong's Bible Encyclopedia
The Catholic Encyclopedia
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Maintaining Christian faith through the trying times of life. As a noun the term perseverance occurs in the New Testament only at
Persevering Christians take prayer seriously as a reflection of life. They recognize the way of love and forgiveness because they understand the nature of human weakness and divine help. They know they have experienced grace beyond their human capacities. Persevering Christians recognize that the warnings of the Bible are meant for them to obey and that Christ gave His life to transform their lives. Perseverance is thus a call to faithfulness, but it is also an affirmation that somehow, in spite of our failures, God will bring His committed people through the difficulties and concerns of life to their promised destiny in Christ.
Gerald L. Borchert
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Perseverance'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/p/perseverance.html. 1991.