James 1:2–8

‘Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.’(vv3–4)

Perseverance acts as a prime motivator driving us both to attain our defined goals and to improve our skills. This drive is sustained by the passion we have for our goals and helps us to persist in our efforts, despite opposition and obstacles. It draws upon our motivation – how much we want something, and our determination, what we’re prepared to spend on being successful. 

We know our human resolve is often weak. Most New Year resolutions are broken within hours! However, resolve is really the determination we decide to invest to accomplish something, even when we might remain unsure if and how we can accomplish it. This is a great description of the disciple’s life. 

We set off in the direction of God, as if on a quest, and must overcome known and unknown challenges along the way. God has provided all the resources we need (1 Cor. 10:13), and it is always the intention that holds us to our course.

The Christian life is a marathon, not a sprint. We commit for the duration of our lives through all the many switchbacks we experience. One definition of madness is to keep doing the same thing repeatedly assuming you’ll produce a different result. 

Perseverance requires reflection and creative thinking. If one strategy doesn’t work, think, pray, talk with others, and find another. I once read on a tube train, ‘Resolve is the fuel that drives the engine of accomplishment and you literally have an inexhaustible supply.’ You alone have the power to shut it off.

SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: 1 Chron. 16:7–27; Ps. 37:23–29; Rom. 2:1–11; Heb. 10:32–39.

AN ACTION TO TAKE: What’s the fuel that’s driving your engine? Where is it taking you to? Is this your desired destination?

A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, may my perseverance build character and character sustain hope. So that I serve You faithfully every day. Amen.’ (Rom. 5:3–4)

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.