I talked about this topic of perseverance this past Sunday at our church. It has really helped me during this time I'm in and maybe some of you will benefit from this thought.
Perseverance, in James 1.3 is not about running and enduring for enduring sake. There are some rich promises and implications associated with this word. In the Greek it is "hupomonay" which comes from two root words. 1> hupo = by or under 2> mone = remain (in place, time, condition) also to wait with expectation.
I know that is a monumental issue for me. I am waiting, but am I waiting with expectation? What kind of expectation? The testing of my faith (trust, loyalty and way of seeing) is to lead me to maturity. God does not want me to lack anything and have all resources necessary to fulfill the call of God on my life. The bridge, however, between these two is "hupomonay."
So if perseverance means that I remain in place, time and condition, what does that look like?
1. Stay Present in the story. Don't quit. Don't run from the God's pruning process. While you stay present in the story he will show what false idols and misdirected loyalties you may have. He may also tweak the way you view life. Not in the sense of optimism or pessimism, but one of faith or unbelief (Hebrews 3-4).
2. Thrive in the story. There have been days where survival was the mission. If I could survive another meeting, another pruning then I would be successful. That's probably true, but ultimately God wants us to thrive. Joseph did it. Daniel did it. The 3 Hebrews did it. Moses did it. We can do it. We live under a greater promise and with a more intimate relationship with God.
3. Stay united. Perseverance is a process, it's a path to walk, but it also carries a powerful and life changing promise. Notice I said promise. Maturity is a promise not a gurantee. I like what Bill Johnson says, "God is obligated to meet your needs, but he is not obligated to meet your potential." Read John 15 in The Message translation. Intimacy is the key. It is the foundation. Stay in "univision" not "division." James 1 goes on to tell us that division makes us deeply unstable. The test already makes me a bit shaky. I don't want division adding to my instability.
Persevere. You can do it. You will make it. You may have a few scars on the other side, but you will experience realms of God and place in God that can only be obtained through persevering.
until next time....