What is perseverance? What does it mean to our Christian walk?
Perseverance, in short, is keeping on keeping on. It’s being faithful, day after day, to do the things that you committed to do.
My family has been in New York City for the last 8 months participating in the Equip training program. We’re learning how to effectively do missions work — how to effectively plant churches and how to disciple people overseas. We’ve taken classes on how to share our faith, how to talk with people from different cultures, and how to effectively share the gospel. All of this has been new and exciting, but like all things, eventually new things stop being new. This is where the road forks. We can choose a monotonous trudging along in the same old, same old, or we can choose to be marching forward in perseverance. The difference is how you see your ministry. Can we persevere through the everyday things?
One of my favorite stories from this year is about my wife. We have four boys under 9 years old, and three of them were in school. After summer ended and all the trainings and classes were over, we settled into a rhythm of life. Around this time, my wife experienced an onslaught of illness and pain. She continued to carry out the responsibilities of a mother and a missionary. She was tired, but still went to school and talked with the other mothers. Some days she could talk, and other days all she could do was smile.
Finally, one day she met one mother from Bangladesh who began talking with her. The mother told her, “I always see you so happy. You are so friendly. I have always wanted to be your friend.” This came as a shock to my wife. It seemed like such a struggle at times just to get the kids to and from school. Her perseverance in the smallest task had an enormous impact on those around her.
Whatever you find yourself doing for the Lord, no matter how small, there can be an impact. Whether you’re a mother, a father, a doctor, a plumber, a teacher, or a pastor, you will make an impact. Our willingness to persevere through times of struggle is what points people to Christ. The world is impacted by people who faithfully carry out with perseverance the tasks God has given them.