Thursday, October 29, 2020
Forty Days of Proclamation: PERSEVERANCE
Perseverance: the ability to keep doing something in spite of obstacles
Romans 5:3-4, Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Like others, I’ve faced my share of obstacles over the years but being diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer was by far the most challenging obstacle I’ve ever had to deal with. Soon after my initial diagnosis, God put the word PERSEVERANCE on my heart and I’ve spent a great deal of time studying it. Throughout my cancer journey, I learned to lean into God more and the closer I got to Him, my faith and desire to persevere grew expeditiously. One night, I was lying in bed thinking “why me”, and believe me, I had done a pretty good job of “reminding God” why I should not have to deal with cancer. After I’d poured it all out, God gently remind me of the story of Joseph. As a child, I had learned about Joseph in Sunday School. In fact, I had even crocheted a blanket of many colors similar to what I believed Joseph’s coat had looked like back then, but I didn’t really know his story was about PERSEVERANCE. As I spent time reading the story again, (Genesis 37-50) I realized just how much Joseph had overcome (hated by his brothers, thrown into a pit, sold as a slave, imprisoned, etc etc.). Yet, through it all, Joseph trusted God. He made the best of his circumstances, remained faithful, and ultimately Joseph persevered. That story inspired me during my fight against cancer and the many obstacles I’ve faced since then; especially the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic has certainly created its own unique set of challenges for so many people (isolation, job loss, financial impact, graduations postponed or canceled, relationship issues, etc). At times, “life” can seem overwhelming but always remember each obstacle is yet another opportunity for us to draw closer to God. We are to be encouraged by Joseph’s story of perseverance. Remain faithful, and we will overcome whatever obstacle is placed in our paths!
Hebrews 10:36, NIV, You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.
For further reading: James 1:2-4, James 1:12; Hebrews 12:1
Dear Heavenly Father, we are so thankful that we are not alone when we are faced with the challenges of this world; you are always with us. Sometimes the obstacles appear so overwhelming, and at the time they may even seem too great for us to overcome. Lord, I pray that we are reminded and take comfort in knowing you are larger and more powerful than any obstacle we will ever face. I pray we will see those obstacles as opportunities to lean in closer to you, Lord, and that you would provide us with strength to persevere. Lord, thank you for never giving up on us, even when we question “why me”. Thank you for gently reminding us that you are in control. I pray that we will always find comfort in knowing that your love never ceases, your mercies never come to an end, and your faithfulness is greater than any that we would ever deserve. In all these things, I pray in your name, AMEN.
“Power” by the artists, We Are Messengers. The artists shared their inspiration behind the song as “We thought about how Jesus conquered death, and how we have the POWER in us. When we are in the middle of a challenging time, it’s easy to feel alone or forget that the battle has already been won, but this song is one of empowerment. We want to remind listeners that THEY have the power within themselves. It’s that easy - we need only believe.” I for one am so thankful that it’s just that simple - we need only believe. Jesus overcame many “obstacles” while on this earth. Aren’t you glad He didn’t quit when He was faced with temptation, mockery and suffering? Jesus kept going. He persevered and ultimately gave His life so that we might be saved through Him.
Partial lyrics of the song Power by We Are Messengers
Jut keep moving on
Just keep pushing ahead
Yeah, the new has come
All the old is dead
Just keep moving on
Keep your eyes on the prize
And that word in your heart
Yeah, we’ll be alright