What is perseverance? According to the Oxford dictionary perseverance is persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. When we are studying towards a degree and despite financial difficulties or failing a few subjects along the way we persevere and reach our goal. When our job is tough and the people are mean, but we have a certain number of sales to make, we persevere until we make that last sale and receive the reward.
In our Christian walk we need perseverance, we need to persist through the hardships, the persecutions and the suffering. The Bible says in Romans that suffering produces perseverance, “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3-4). That is how gracious our Father in heaven is, everything happens for a reason. We go through suffering so that perseverance can be built up in us. Perseverance is vital to our growth as children of God.
Perseverance produces character. Character is what sets us apart from the world. It is out of our character that we react to the things that happen in the world.
Here are a few scriptures that speak about perseverance:
Apart from character, perseverance gives life. In James we read that, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12). When we persevere through the test and trials of life and the things the enemy throws at us, we receive the crown of life. That being eternal life with God in heaven.
It is to receive that eternal life, that crown that we should persevere through the troubled times. That we should look to the Father and ask the Spirit for guidance and comfort. Our faith is being built up in Jesus because he persevered for us, he endured the cross for the joy set before him. That joy being us reconciled with the Father forever.
The key to perseverance, and all things, is faith. Faith in our Lord, faith in his good works and the plans he has for us. If we have faith in God’s plan, we will be able to persevere. “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.” (2 Peter 1:5-7)
Birthdays are a time of celebration, a celebration of life with friends and family. A time of gift giving and receiving as a sign of love and appreciation for one another. Birthdays mark special milestones in our lives from our first birthday to our 21st birthday and all in-between and after. We don’t just celebrate birthdays of our friends or family, people even celebrate the birthdays of their pets. Some Christians celebrate 2 birthdays, the birth of their physical body and the day they got saves, the birth of their new life.
As Christians, we can all agree that there is one universal birthday that stands above all else. The birthday to mark all birthdays. This day is universally celebrated on the 25th of December, also known as Christmas. Yes, this is the day on which we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World. Jesus came into the world, and instead of us giving him gifts for his birthday, we received the most precious gift of all. Jesus gave up his own life to give us eternal life. Eternal life if we believe in him. What a gift!!
We have compiled a list of scriptures in the Bible that speak of birthdays:
Birthdays are important to us as humans, many things are based on the day of our birth. Things like whether we can, by law, drive a car or get married. Or things like our level of maturity is based on our physical age. For many their birthdays are a reminder that they are getting old and might not have accomplished as much as they have wanted to. You hear many people have a goal for when they turn 30. (Fun fact: Jesus started his ministry when he was 30)
No matter how you view your birthday, here is a reminder that God was there in fact, he created you how you are, with your personality, hair and eye colour, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:13-14). This is also a reminder that God has a will and a plan for your life, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11). So celebrate your birthday extravagantly, because you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Trust does not come easily to most people; many people have been hurt by others who have broken their trust. Once the trust has been broken people find it very difficult to trust anyone, whether someone has hurt them or not. There are so many people who sit with trust issues because of this. Even more shocking is that there are Christians who have trust issues, and these trust issues affect not only their walk with fellow believers but their relationship with God.
Trust is vital to our relationship with God and how we live as his children. The Bible is filled with things that we don’t understand, from how the trinity, Father, Son and Spirit, all fit in together. They are separate but they are one? That is confusing. To what eternity looks like. The Bible is also filled with uncertainties, like when will the end of the world be and what will the second coming look like. That is why the Bible talks about “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
We have compiled a list of scriptures that speak about trust,
When we trust the Lord everything in our world becomes clearer. We become like a tree planted by the river as Jeremiah says, “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water” (Jeremiah 17:7). The Lord will never leave us nor forsake us and in times of need he gives us everything we need.
The beautiful thing about trusting in the Lord is that, trust requires faith. The Lord gives us the gift of faith for when our own faith fails us because we have been hurt and find it difficult to trust. When we set our minds on trusting God and leaning on his wisdom and trusting his timing and plan for our lives that is when we will have peace. “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)
If you are someone who has trouble trusting and you have been hurt in the past, turn to the Lord. Trust that he holds you in the palm of his hand and there is nothing that can separate you from his love. Trust that he is holy and that he knows the plans he has for you.
We see life as a series of events and it all has to do with breath. Your life starts with you taking the first breath and it ends when you breathe out your last breath. Life is about breath, even in the Bible. God breathed into Adam’s nostrils and he became alive. In the New Testament, Jesus breathes onto the disciples and gives them the authority that the Father gave him, go and spread the Gospel. In Acts we read that “In him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)
Life on earth is also more than merely living. We have a mandate to live a life that is pleasing to God. A life that Jesus lived, full of grace, mercy, joy and love. Jesus even made it easier for us by saying that he, ”Came to give you life and life more abundantly” (John 10:10). Elsewhere Jesus says that he is life, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). So, if Jesus IS life and he came to GIVE life then we should live our lives accordingly.
Here we have compiled a short list of scriptures that speak about life:
All through the scriptures we read about life, what brings life and what destroys life. We read about physical life and spiritual life and then obviously the opposite of life which is death. We read that we have authority over life, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). This power is in our tongue, yet later in the scriptures we read that no human can tame the tongue. (James 3:6). This just means that we should constantly be asking the Holy Spirit to guard our mouths so that we can speak life.
One of the first scriptures you learn as a new believer is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”. Yet do we as Christians fully grasp what it means to have eternal life? Once again, we find the answer within the scriptures, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3) and in Revelation we see what eternal life looks like, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
Grief is a very real emotional response to a deep sense of loss. This sense of loss can come as a result from various situations and experiences. We experience grief when a long-loved household pet dies; when we lose our jobs or source of income; when we break of a relationship (romantic or not) for any reason or when a loved one loses a battle with cancer. Just like there are many different circumstances that can cause grief in our lives, so grief is experienced and dealt with in different ways by different people.
Some people will distract themselves with work, or a new relationship, or a vacation; others will refuse to accept the loss and try to reconcile or bargain; others still will play the blame game and try and figure out what could have happened differently to cause a different result, a result that is not loss, but then you get those people who grieve, they go through those 5 stages of grief in a healthy way, they accept their loss and they eventually remember the thing lost with fondness.
The healthiest and most effective way to grieve is with the Holy Spirit comforting you, Afterall he is the great comforter. Here are a few scriptures from the Bible that can help you grieve:
There are many instances in the Bible of people grieving, there is Daniel who grieved because of a dream (Daniel 10:1-2), Naomi grieved because she lost her husband and her 2 sons in the middle of great poverty and famine. (Ruth 1:1-5) and then finally we have Jesus. Jesus who had been preaching and teaching heard that a friend was ill, yet by the time he got to the place where he was, Lazarus had been dead for 4 days. He went to the house where his sister was grieving and we read that “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.” (John 11:33) Just a few verses later we read that Jesus wept.
Jesus wept. What a sentence, as powerful as it is short. Jesus knew that he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, he talks about it even before he knew that Lazarus was dead, yet Jesus wept. We can take great encouragement from this, Jesus knows our sorrow. He feels our pain.
The greatest encouragement is this, when we get to heaven there will be no grief, no tears no sorrow. (Revelation 21:4)