Click on the following link for Part 1: 14. Never, Never, Never Give Up (Wise words, Winston) Pt. 1
‘Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus’ – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Part one of this blog series emphasised the value God places in perseverance and introduced perseverance as a means of developing a deeper faith in God. We know that perseverance is key. But, not perseverance alone.
Perseverance with a joyful heart is key.
Do you ever go through periods in life where you have been ‘doing everything right’. You have been praying and coming to God with your problems and concerns. You have been seeking His guidance and wisdom. You have been diligently trying to lead a Christian life and not get frustrated or discouraged with the trials you face. You have been persevering. Yet still things don’t change. Still you have to persevere. And on it goes.
There is a special ingredient that is vital to persevering, in God’s way. Sure, perseverance by its very nature is something that one must endure through for longer than one would like. But attitude changes everything. Persevering with a joyful heart is what God instructs. Persevering whilst delighting in Him. Persevering whilst remaining thankful; full of gratitude. Now that, is a true test of character!
‘Enter into His gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise;
give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.’Psalm 100:4-5
Delight in the Lord – in other words – be filled with joy as you fellowship and worship in His presence, despite your circumstances! This very attitude and mindset, particular when persevering through trials, is an active demonstration and declaration of your faith. It is a strong act of defiance against the evil one who tries to speak lies into your mind and tell you that your Father in heaven has deserted you, is not listening to you, does not love you, does not care about you, even that He wants to harm you.
Laugh in the face of those lies. Persevere with a thankful heart. With joy and gratitude. In time, be it in this lifetime or the next, God will richly bless you.
‘Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight in in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers’ – Psalm 1:1-3
My favourite verse is Psalm 37:4. At a time when I needed to be reminded to remain delighting in God, this verse jumped out on the page to me so strongly I knew God was directing me to it by the power of the Holy Spirit. I starred, underlined it, and wrote the date beside it, so I would never forget that moment and so that I would be reminded of it each time I come across the verse again.
‘Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart’ – Psalm 37:4
Let’s try to adopt this attitude in a defiant act of faith. Persevering whilst being joyful in the Lord, is the very depiction of trust. It is also an act of obedience as it is what He has called us to do. I pray that God will richly bless you as you persevere in persevering whilst delighting in Him 🙂
‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus’ – Philippians 4:6-7
‘Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer’ – Romans 12:11-12