Perseverance for the Journey

on Sunday 31, January 2010

In the classic story, Pilgrim’s Progress (written from a prison cell by John Bunyan), Christian sets out on a journey full of challenges and obstacles.  His desire to move forward in spite of all that confronts him is the core of this story.  At one point, while imprisoned in Doubting Castle, he becomes aware that he actually has the key to his escape hidden in his bosom…it’s called Promise.  The moral of this story is that the journey may be difficult, but what we learn on the way is without price.

God told Abraham, “Leave your country, your people, and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation.”  Twenty-five years later, Abraham still did not have a son, but his relationship with his God, forged through his faith and his obedience during this sojourn, had grown and deepened.

The Apostle Paul’s personal journey was also full of obstacles. Yet he firmly declares, “None of these things move me!”  Because of his own steadfast walk, Paul was able to encourage the Roman Christians, and us as well, to persevere, because perseverance develops character which keeps us alert for whatever God does next.  “In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged.  Quite the contrary – we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives.”

The Apostle James puts it this way, “Perseverance must finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.”