by Graham Mol
I was thinking about how we as Christians are to be shining lights in this world. Our vision at New Harvest for this year is: “Shine! A broken world in darkness waits for the light of Christ in you,” based on Matthew 5:14. As I thought of the many different ways we can shine for Jesus, the virtue of perseverance came to mind.
In Philippians 2:14-16a the apostle Paul says the following:
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life.
It takes perseverance to “do everything without grumbling and arguing.” I’m sure we all have days where we got out on the wrong side of the bed, we all have our “off” days. So it’s not always possible to do everything without moaning or getting irritable, we’re human after all. Yet for a believer this should be the exception and not the norm. For someone who has placed their hope in Christ and finds their joy in the Lord, tough times and difficult circumstances won’t keep us down.
This is one of the things that makes Christians stand out from the world, the fact that even though we face many of the same struggles and obstacles everyone else experiences, we keep going. Somehow we remain standing, somehow we still have joy in our hearts, somehow our hope is undiminished. Somehow we persevere.
The Bible speaks a great deal about perseverance but one of the most beautiful and inspiring passages be found in Isaiah chapter 40:
30 Youths may become faint and weary,
and young men stumble and fall,
31 but those who trust in the Lord
will renew their strength;
they will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not become weary,
they will walk and not faint.
“Those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength.” This is how we can keep on loving, keep on sharing, keep on caring and praying and praising even when we go into day how-ever-much of lockdown (day 90 today!) Our perseverance is and will be a witness to God’s power and glory. When people look at us somehow persevering, we can then point them to Christ who is our strength.
I want to encourage you to persevere. Find your strength in your relationship with the Lord, allow the Holy Spirit to refresh and renew you, and shine!
“Let us not grow weary or become discouraged in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap, if we do not give in,” (Galatians 6:9 AMP)