Faith is a journey where we keep our eyes fixed ahead on our destination. There may be moments when we pause, and momentarily look back for encouragement, but our momentum always needs to be forward. On this journey there are times when to progress, we need to persevere in faith with wholehearted commitment to the Lord. But the perseverance that is required is not a grim determination but one of joyful growth and advancement.
Persevere in Faith Bible Verse
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.Hebrews 12:1b-2a
Persevere to Progress – Joyful growth to Advance.
I live close to the Welsh mountains and enjoy spending the day walking there. We check the weather forecast, plan our route, pack up some supplies and off we go. When walking in the mountains, we keep our eyes fixed ahead on where we are going, whatever the terrain. Uphill is hard work, so when we come to a steep part, we may need to pause momentarily for a breather. When we do it is always a pleasant surprise to look back and see how far we have come. Then, once we’ve got our breath back, we fix our eyes ahead and move on once again towards our destination.
There is an analogy here for making progress on our journey of faith. We need to know where we are going, and once we start out, we need to keep our eyes fixed ahead on our destination. We keep our eyes fixed on the Lord Jesus, the One who has set an example for us, the One who has made the way and cleared the path for us to follow.
Sometimes when the going gets tough, we may pause and reflect on how far God has already brought us. This is to bring encouragement to persevere in faith and press on. We must not rest for too long, otherwise we can lose the will to continue, the temptation to give up and to go back down can become too strong. We must turn around, fix our eyes ahead once more, and take another step forward!
Perseverance in God
Perseverance is a godly characteristic and one that we are encouraged to develop. Everyone who walks in the mountains, and makes it to the top, will say there were moments when it was hard going, but it’s worth it – we do it for the joy!
Jesus demonstrated for us how to persevere in faith, through the most difficult, incomprehensible trial of pain, suffering and separation from God. He did it for us! And He did it for the joy that was before Him:
For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.Hebrews 12:2b
What he was enduring at that moment had an eternal worth which outweighed His suffering. The joy of His reward in heaven, and His glory at the right hand of the Father, sustained the Lord to submit to the will of the Father. It is Christ’s suffering that qualified Him to bring ‘many sons and daughters’ to glory, for we become God’s children by Jesus’ sacrifice. We have been set free from the power and fear of death – and we have a faithful and merciful high priest, interceding to God for us.
How do we persevere in faith?
Our faith journey can only be one of progress and joy by keeping our eyes fixed on our destination. We too have a joy set before us that one day we will be with the Lord – we know where we are going and to whom we are going!
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.1 John 3:2
I would suggest that godly perseverance is not a grim determination, but the strength and resolve to press on towards the goal. It is not by our own strength of will, but by drawing close to the Lord. As we focus on Him, we will have all the strength that we need. The Lord Jesus is our help, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, our enabler to persevere.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 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.James 1:2-4
This passage of Scripture goes on to talk about asking God for wisdom, and when we ask not to doubt but to believe in the faithfulness and goodness of God. Our God gives generously and He gives an abundance. To persevere in faith we need to ask God for wisdom to see beyond this present moment and to remember the joy of our salvation. The joy of the victory that has been won for us in Christ Jesus, the joy of eternity with the Lord – for the joy of the Lord IS our strength.
Jesus, when He prayed for His disciples, prayed that they might know ‘the full measure of my joy within them.’ Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, joy is infectious, joy is appealing, and joy is inviting! I don’t know about you, but I desire a new and deeper joy and I’m making that my prayer…..
Related – You may also like to read: A Call To Persevere in Faith
I’ve added a beautiful version of an old song, which I’ve found to be a real blessing.