Let’s be honest, life is hard. Sometimes it feels like we’re buried under burdens that threaten to crush us. Sorrow, responsibilities, anxiety, family, pain, injustice, sickness, and more. It wears on you. I understand. Paul did too. He said, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Gal 6:9).
But what if you just can’t keep going? What if it’s just too much? I understand that too. So did Jesus’ brother, James who said, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him” (Jas 1:12). James led the Christian church in Jerusalem – a church under severe persecution. He saw their troubles as a means to an end and called for perseverance.
Another brother, Jude, added some advice and encouragement for persevering: “But you, dear friends, built yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Chris to bring you to eternal life” (Jude 1:20-21).
Build up your faith by remembering God’s history of faithfulness, power, wisdom, and victory. “Pray and don’t give up” (Luke 18:1) – that pretty well explains itself. Stand firm in the love of God – one of my favorite ways to do this is to consider 1 Corinthians 13 and how the Lord has manifested each expression of love. And then wait. Augh! That’s the hardest part. How long? Until He says, “It is done” (Rev 21:6). And it will be done because God leaves nothing unfinished – “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:6).
The choice to persevere or give up is one we all face. Friend, I don’t know your burdens, just the weight of my own. And friend, they are very heavy. Every time I think I can’t keep going God sends me a reminder of what – and who – is at stake. I can’t give up. I won’t give up. And neither should you. Let’s commit today to persevere with God’s help. And each other’s. The Lord says, “As for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded” (2 Chron 15:7). Hang on Beloved, there’s Joy ahead for us.