Written by Taytum Allwood
« Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. » – Romans 5:5 NIV
These two words, « perseverance and hope », have really been highlighted in my life as the new year begins.
If you think about an elite athlete who is about to run an important race, he or she is prepared in every way possible to run to his or her best ability. They have the physical training in place, their minds are prepared and their bodies are nourished with all the right food that will make them strong. Their ability and performance is dependent on the work they put in.
It is the same with our faith. God can only move when we are moving. He can only draw near to us when we draw near to Him. There is action involved. In other words, as we run the race set before us with perseverance, God provides everything we need to run our race well.
Perseverance is the physical willing and training of our minds and bodies to keep going and never give up. Hope is the fuel our souls need to run with purpose … The expectation that we are running towards a significant and eternal goal. Hope is the « fuel » that keeps our engines running.
Our modern generation, myself included, shy’s away from true perseverance. If it’s easy, we’re happy. I long to run the race God has put before me this year with perseverance and a heart full of Hope. This means I need to action some things in my life like seeking God, saturating my thoughts and heart with the truth of His word, reminding myself daily of the hope I have in Christ, learning to love others more than myself (it is more blessed to give than to receive) and when things get tough, to keep pressing on and never give up.
May you know God’s presence, love and sustaining strength throughout 2018.