“Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For, ‘Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.’ But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”
// Hebrews 10:35-39
This verse in Hebrews plainly tells us that living out the will of God requires perseverance. It's no slack job. The Kingdom life looks a lot like the winding, narrow road mentioned in Matthew 7. The world often will offer you the wide-open, flat and comfortable road; this road is nothing but a plateau with a drop-off the end, never leading anywhere but to destruction. But the narrow and winding path leads up the mountain, through rough terrain, over streams and under fallen trees, to where the presence of God is. It leads to life.
It's easy to get to a point where we feel like we have nothing left in the tank. Burnout is a scary phrase we tend to hear too often in today's Christian circles. There are a hundred different ways to get to that point on this journey, but only one answer: endurance through faith. If we are serving and giving from a place of faith, our endurance grows.
The world tells us that we can tackle this thing on our own, but never during His walk on this earth did Jesus set that example – He leaned in to faith. He trusted confidently in the plan His Father had for Him. His example was to press in.
The importance of perseverance is not just about us as individuals but about impacting the people in our communities through serving them. To persevere is to see the God-sized picture, where we play a part in bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to earth – that's the reward! Jesus placed His faith in God, an unending source of strength through all trials, even upon the cross. By acknowledging that He is the strength that we lack, we gain the confidence in Him to persevere on the path set out for us, no matter the peaks and valleys we encounter.
// Mike Akins