12 “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”
James 1:12 (NIV)
In one definition, perseverance is explained as, “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.” I love that in the everyday definition of perseverance the word “steadfast” is used.
To me, it is a small representation of how God is in everything — stringing together simple words within dictionary definitions to speak of His power. It stirs my consciousness to see such purposeful and powerful words in Scripture such as persevere and steadfast and to use them in everyday life, highlighting the intended meaning.
In referencing that meaning, how do you steadfastly continue — how do you persevere — despite difficulty or delay?
Because let’s be honest, in the life of an athlete, adversity is guaranteed with the demands of your schedule, the long hours with little recognition, the fight to overcome various mental and physical hurdles.
So what is it that drives your motivation midway through the season when you’re drained and tired -- after a particularly tough practice when nothing seems to come together, after a hard fought game, race, match that ends in a loss?
Friends, let me encourage you, when you are persevering for the sake of Christ it is never in vain. In order to pour out, we need to be filled, and we will only be producing fruit, spreading love, and sharing light if what we are filled with is Christ.
Put another way, if we are filled with the Word of God, we are filled with Christ. As John tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). When you are persevering for the sake of the Lord, your actions are sustainable because you are drawing from a source that never runs dry (Isaiah 58:11).
Despite the trials we face in our sport or in our life, let us push forward knowing that our suffering produces perseverance; our perseverance produces character; our character produces hope and hope will carry us through (Romans 5:3–5).
Prayer to consider: Lord, place in me the desire to persevere despite obstacles that threaten to cloud my vision. May my eyes and my heart be focused on You, the well that never runs dry, and may my voice be ready to call on You in times of trouble.