I’m packing up some books this evening, in preparation for my upcoming move, and I came across a well-worn and marked copy of Ed Welch’s Depression: A Stubborn Darkness. I thumbed through it and thought I’d share these passages on perseverance:
If Jesus Christ learned obedience and endurance through what he suffered, why would we expect our lives to be different? Through our struggles and pain, we are being offered perseverance, the character of God. Hardships are intended to give us a spiritual makeover, “that we may share in his holiness” (Heb. 12:10). Therefore, when God encourages us to persevere, he is not stumbling for encouraging words. He is teaching us how to look like him.
Perseverance isn’t flashy. It doesn’t call attention to itself. It looks like putting one foot in front of another. But beneath the surface, where few can see the glory, is something very profound (Rev. 2:2,19). You are becoming more like God. God sees it and he is pleased by it.
Perseverance is more than just making it through life until you die from natural causes. It is perseverance in faith and obedience. It is perseverance in our God-given purpose, even when life is very hard. Perseverance asks the question, “Today, how will I trust him and follow him in obedience?” Then it asks for help from others, cries out to the Lord, and looks for an opportunity to love. It may seem feeble, but our confidence is in the God who is strong. The essence of persevering is trusting or obeying because of Jesus.