Perseverance, by definition, is continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failures, or opposition (thank you, Merriam Webster). Our world tells us that we persevere of our own accord. That we use our own persistence, strength, and abilities to rise above our struggles. We are also told that in some cases we should take the easier road to avoid the struggles.
But what does our faith tell us? Be steadfast in the Lord. God tells us that being tested in our faith and enduring trials produces that steadfast faith in Him (James 1:3). The Lord gives us what we can handle, but we must turn toward him in our strife, in our anxieties, and in our battles. He owns everything, and once we fully embrace and accept that, we will persevere.
What examples from the Bible do we have to look to for true faith and perseverance in God’s love and care for us? St. Paul endured trials alongside his fellow Christians as they attempted to evangelize the world to the Gospel. We hear that Paul was beaten, pelted with stones, shipwrecked, and close to death many times. But he persevered in faith. And we all know about Job – the death of his children, sickness, unsupportive family and friends, and losing everything. But he persevered in faith. And the prophet Jeremiah was tested to share the faith with an unfaithful nation, attempting to turn their sinful ways around in the name of the Lord. He was persecuted, threatened with death, and many of his loved ones turned their backs on him. But he persevered in faith.
Our missionaries are experiencing their trials right now.
These young adults are preparing physically and spiritually for the National Ride in July. They are also building connections with their pregnancy resource center partner and sharing their life-saving stories with the world. Biking for Babies missionaries do all these things while living their normal, busy lives – college, career, family. They are learning to lean on God’s faithfulness as they work to persevere through potential training setbacks and even rejection from families and friends.
One of our missionaries recently shared about the inconvenience to train (he is training without his bike while studying abroad this semester) and sacrifice time and energy to support the mission. But he went on to say how inconvenient it is for a woman to become unexpectedly pregnant and deal with the next steps of that situation. What is our little inconvenience compared to the fear and struggles that that woman and her family may have to deal with? What is it that we stand to lose for standing up for the most vulnerable?
We too are tested when it comes to sharing the Gospel, particularly the Gospel of Life. There is opposition, there is hatred, and there can so much rejection from those who do not respect life. We are convicted in God’s power to transform hearts to cherish the sanctity of every life.
But IT IS HARD.
Is God asking you to share this mission with someone? Are you fearful of the response you may receive by sharing His love and Gospel of Life with others?
Take a minute to pray about what God is calling you to do and how you will help rebuild the culture of life. Let us be reminded of God’s call to persevere: “And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good” (2 Thessalonians 3:13). Those words are so real: do not let it be overwhelming, and do not let this mission tire you. Keep fighting for good. Through His strength alone can we persevere and have victory over evil. Because after all, what shall separate us from the love of Christ?