Perseverance

13th Sep 2017

'Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not loose heart.' Galatians 6 v 9

Perseverance is a difficult concept to get our head around at certain times in our lives and in certain situations. The very definition of perseverance means that a person only needs to develop this attribute when they are struggling through tough, painful or difficult situations- usually at just the same time when the thought of quitting or giving up seems like the much simpler option.

I love how the dictionary describes perseverance: Perseverance [noun] is the persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Read that last bit again- delay in achieving success. Not failure, or the lack of success, but rather pushing through until the moment when that success is achieved. This verse in Galatians 6 talks about those very same themes; pushing on, persevering and achieving success in God’s perfect timing!

Let us not grow weary while doing good: Watch any superhero or action movie and you will see that usually there is a point in the story where the main character or the ‘good guy’ gets fed up helping people with no thanks in return. They’re tired and run down and ready to pack it in. Sometimes it causes them to take a break from their world-saving duties and sometimes it actually prompts them to loose their morality and turn to the dark side. Similarly it’s easy for us to grow weary when we feel like we are working hard for good purposes but we are not seeing the fruits of our labour or any reward for our efforts. But the bible tells us not to grow weary when we’re doing good things that serve and glorify God. While that may seem like a mammoth or unachievable task, fortunately the verse goes on to explain why we should persevere…

For in due season: Before it gives us the good news though, this verse reminds us of a very important point about timing. As humans sometimes we like to see immediate results- just think of dieting and how quick we are to give up on a particular diet if we haven’t dropped a few dress sizes in a few weeks. But we need to remember that God’s timing is perfect. We many not understand why things happen at certain times but we have to put our trust in the One who created time itself, and who always has our best interest at heart. Ecclesiastes 3 tells us about the different seasons in life and verse 2 reminds us that there is ‘a time to plant and a time to harvest that which is planted.’ The same goes for our endeavours in life.

We shall reap if we do not loose heart: the word reap can have two meanings- to harvest crop or to receive blessings, and regularly throughout the bible the metaphor of harvesting a crop is used to describe receiving God’s blessings and gifts. So the great news at the end of this verse is that our perseverance will be rewarded, if we do not loose heart (in other versions ‘if we do not give up’). You see, if we give up or loose heart when trials come despite the fact that we know we are doing good, we run the risk of being too impatient to find out what God had in store down the line.

So whatever difficult situation you’re going through right now whether it’s trying to keep a youth group afloat while numbers are dwindling, or trying to help that person who never seems to get any better, know that if you persevere with God on your side you will reap in His timing.

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