‘Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers’ (1Tim 4:16; NIV).
Having seen the eternal nature of our destination and the necessity to watch our doctrine and life, we are faced with the challenge of having the attitude of perseverance for the journey.
Perseverance is the quality of persisting with our goal despite the presence of difficulty. The journey is anything but easy. In fact nothing substantial can be attained without enduring difficulty. We recently saw the Olympic games where athletes perform at the highest level and become truly the best in their sport. Yet behind each accomplishment is not only talent but hard work, where the athletes put in years of toil and forego many pleasures to persevere in attaining their goal.
Perseverance becomes necessary when obstacles arise. And what are the obstacles for a pilgrim? While we can list several obstacles, all of them have one thing in common- a temptation to give up a life of faith for a life by sight. Faith is the central aspect of Christian life, from beginning to the end.
A seeker may complain about the lack of evidence to believe in Christ, but he needs to realize that he will never have sufficient evidence lest he believes. And having entered the Christian experience, at every step, the temptation to live life by what is seen rather than what is unseen is tremendous. In other words, what governs the day-to day decisions in one’s life? Is it the more tangible and physical reality that guides his decisions or is it the intangible eternal reality that beckons? That is when perseverance will be necessary to make progress.
‘So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised’ (Hebrews 10:35,36).
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