This week, we are trying to understand perseverance. In the parable of the soils, Jesus used this term to describe the people who hear his message and produce what he desires. So what is perseverance? The place to begin is athletics, specifically in track and field. Perseverance is something exhibited in certain foot races. Hebrews 12:1 uses a race to illustrate the Christian life. It says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (NIV)
How do you picture this race in your mind? Is it a 100 meter dash? If so, then you don’t have the right picture! The word in the original language talks about endurance. We should picture a long race, perhaps a marathon. The Christian life is about faithfulness over the long haul.
Did you notice the illustration of a race also tells us how to improve our perseverance? Distance runners don’t run in long robes or fancy clothes. They wear just enough and no more. Anything else will hinder them by adding weight or restricting their stride. To persevere in our faith, we need to strip off sin and reduce the other things in life to the bare minimum. Our focus and goal must be on Jesus!
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.