Sorry to have been silent for so long. I have finished the school year, started summer tutoring, been preparing for the coming school year, and had Internet issues. The Internet issues are currently fixed, tutoring is going well, and things are finally getting organized at school. I think by September everyone will be able to find what they need. Now to continue thoughts from 2 Peter 1.
Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence,
in your faith supply moral excellence,
and in your moral excellence, knowledge,
and in your knowledge, self-control,
and in your self-control, perseverance,
and in your perseverance, godliness,
and in your godliness, brotherly kindness,
and in your brotherly kindness, love.
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing,
they render you neither useless nor unfruitful
in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted,
having forgotten his purification from his former sins.
Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent
to make certain about His calling and choosing you;
for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;
for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
will be abundantly supplied to you.
1 Peter 1:5-11
Perseverance can be defined as steadfastness or endurance. It is the ability to resist the pressures of the world and to actively remain under God’s control. We need perseverance so we can allow the Holy Spirit to work in us. It is too easy to give up and try to run our own lives.
Two men who demonstrated perseverance are Hezekiah and Nehemiah. In 2 Kings 18 and 19, we read about Hezekiah. He had received reports that Assyria was mocking the Israelites. They were specifically mocking Hezekiah and God. Hezekiah took the letter containing these reports and prayed about the matter. He was very disturbed by these reports; mostly because they were causing people to be discouraged about Hezekiah as their king. The people were also doubting the power of God. Hezekiah’s prayer indicates that he was persevering.
Hezekiah prayed before the Lord and said,
“O Lord, the God of Israel, who are enthroned above the cherubim,
You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth.
You have made heaven and earth.
Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see;
and listen to the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God.
Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have devastated the nations and their lands
and have cast their gods into the fire,
for they were not gods but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone.
So they have destroyed them.
Now, O Lord our God, I pray, deliver us from his hand
that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, O Lord, are God.”
2 Kings 19:15-19
God did deliver the Israelites. He struck the Assyrians so that they all died. The Israelites woke up the next morning to find that they had no one to fight.
Nehemiah’s story is recorded in the book that bears his name. He had taken Israelites to Jerusalem to rebuild the city walls which had fallen down while the Israelites were in captivity in Babylon. Nehemiah was faced with overseeing this large job and overseeing it in hostile conditions. For a while the men working on the wall had to hold their weapons also because there was a threat of attack. In spite of these conditions the wall was completed in 52 days. When you read the book of Nehemiah, you will notice that Nehemiah prays often. He was able to persevere because he depended on a great God to help; he knew where to go for help if he didn’t know what to do next.
Hezekiah and Nehemiah also show us the means of persevering – prayer. Prayer should not be considered a last minute tool. Prayer should be thought of as our strongest weapon, our greatest assistance, our means of getting the best help. The only way to able to persevere is to know the God who can answer prayer. As you get to know Him better, you will be able to pray with confidence and be able to depend on God’s guidance better.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in the Lord forever,
For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.