“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
– James 1:2-4
I love the word perseverance. Defined as “persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success,” I believe this powerful character trait is of utmost importance as we stand on the threshold of a new year. Though the verses above may be familiar to you, there’s something in them that Hannah pointed out to me that I think is very significant. Look at the phrase “let perseverance finish its work.” Did you notice that it’s passive? In other words, without interference, perseverance will have its way in your life and you will get to where you’re supposed to be. But why would you not let perseverance finish? I can think of one major reason — it’s uncomfortable, sometimes excruciatingly so.
Friend, the tendency when you are faced with obstacles and challenges in the coming year will be to shortcut to the finish line or simply stop moving forward. This may play out as compromising, giving up, dwelling on the past, turning from a hard thing, or refusing to admit it when you have a problem. Regardless of the form it takes, I can tell you one thing for certain — choosing any of these roads is relinquishing the abundant life you have in Jesus. When you encounter hills and mountains that look foreboding and you feel as if you can’t move forward, above all else, pray for wisdom and maturity. Keep looking at your Lord, cast your concerns fully on Him, and allow His strong and loving Hand to lead you over the rough roads one step at a time.
Jesus, I pray for perseverance and I ask that it would finish its work in me through all that I encounter in the new year.
How can you allow perseverance to complete its work in your life?