Ever had one of those days (or maybe even weeks) when you just want to give up on something or someone? I know I have had many. In fact, there have been several recently involving the beginning of the school year. When everything in me wonders why I should even try, I turn to the Bible and find it often says to do the exact opposite of giving up.
When I am feeling down I turn to the Bible. Whatever the circumstances, I open the Bible app on my iPhone and look at the verse of the day or some of my recent bookmarks. Often, verses I memorized in AWANA® come to mind and add to the other verses I have found that day. One of my faves is this one:
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13 NIV
To persevere, in my opinion, is to continue or keep doing something no matter what difficulties come your way. There are many stories in the Bible about perseverance, such as the stories of Esther (found in the Book of Esther), Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (begins in Daniel 1), Daniel (found in the book of Daniel), etc. No matter what they went through, God was always there for them.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. ~ Joshua 1:9 NIV
One of the biggest things that kids often face is the old saying, “You’re too young.” Though there are some valid things to which this saying is applied (such as when someone should start driving a car), sometimes it is said just to make whoever it was said to feel little. If you hear it often enough, you might even begin to say it to yourself and use it as an excuse to not do something.
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity. ~ 1 Timothy 4:12 NIV
Another thing which sometimes seems to bar our way is that we can’t do it by ourselves. By trying to do it by ourselves we can run ourselves down and hurt those around us at the same time. This just isn’t what God designed us to do. For one thing, (as my mom always says) “He designed us to be in relationships.” If we’re doing everything by ourselves, there isn’t much time left for spending quality time with others. Also, “For with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37 NKJV) and as the next verse says: “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? ~ Romans 8:31 NIV
There are many more verses that speak of perseverance indirectly or directly. It is very likely that the amount of verses would be too many for just one blog post. With that in mind, I think this next verse wraps this post up quite nicely:
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life the Lord has promised those who love him. ~ James 1:12 NIV