Definition of Life
Definition of Life
Life is a series of difficulties of different kinds and varying degrees usually experienced over a period of many years that compose and make up a lifetime. The Christian life is a marathon it is not a sprint. Maybe a better metaphor would be: “The Christian life is an obstacle course of marathon linked or duration”. We could think of a twenty-six mile (a marathon) then add walls to climb over, streams to cross, hedges to jump over, and endless varieties of other unexpected obstacles to endure during our lifetime. That is the Christian life. It is no wonder that “few Christians finish well”. Matthew 7:13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.
Could Jesus have been referring to the Christian life? God wants all Christians to persevere. He wants us to persist in doing His will whatever the obstacles may be. We have been called to persevere, to run the race that God has laid out for each of us. We all encounter many obstacles and many occasions for discouragement (such as the current pandemic). To run the race and finish well we must develop perseverance. How can we do it? Paul tells us that we should rejoice in our sufferings in our adversities because these difficulties in our lives produce perseverance. They strengthen our emotional strength as we endure and develop. Romans 5:3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance. James also tells us the same thing that Paul told us in Romans that adversity develops perseverance. James 1:3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
Adversity produces perseverance and perseverance enables us to meet and deal with the adversities. Lifting weights develop muscles and the more one muscles are developed the heavier the weight we can lift. Perseverance is developed through adversity. It is energized by the faith that we possess. Weights on the bar provide the resistance needed to develop muscles they do not provide the energy. Energy must come from the food we eat. With adversity the energy must come from God’s word which develops our faith. It is God’s strength not ours that enables us to persevere through these adversities. We must lay hold to God’s strength through the faith that we develop from God’s word.
In the book of Hebrews sandwiched between chapters 10 and 12 is a well-known chapter known as the Hall of Fame of faith, chapter 11. The writer of Hebrews is calling us to persevere by the faith that we possess. In Chapter 11 we receive motivation. He gives us example after example of people who persevere in doing the will of God by the faith that they possess. Perseverance follows dependence; we cannot grow in perseverance until we have learned to depend totally and completely on God. If you are going to run God’s race, doing God’s will, then you must run it with His strength. John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
In these 2 passages we see 2 sides of the same truth. Without His strength we can do nothing. With His strength we can do all we need to do to complete the purpose that He has for us. We are called to persevere, to do God’s will despite the obstacles and discouragement, but with His strength and His strength alone we can complete this marathon.
In the past month how have you strengthened your perseverance muscles?