You will have spiritual success in this life only if you have the ability to endure. If there is one character strength that all Christians should have it should be the fact that they persevere. A Christian should never quit. We are admonished, over and over again to endure, to stay in the fight to the very end but perseverance is so rare today because it focuses on the future rather than the immediate present. Perseverance is patient. It keeps waiting, and believing and trusting, even when things take longer than expected. It keeps working, and seeking and striving, even when things turn out to be more difficult than anticipated. It remains faithful, even when there are ample opportunities to throw in the towel, to give up and move on. Perseverance means sticking with something for as long as God calls you to do so, no matter how long it takes, no matter how difficult or painful it becomes, no matter how many discouragements and disappointments and obstacles you encounter along the way.
Why is perseverance so important? Because the Bible shows us over and over again that God brings victory out of what looks to be failure and defeat. God likes to demonstrate His power by turning around seemingly hopeless situations and if we give up too soon, we may miss the blessing of seeing the power of God at work in our lives. The only way to know God’s grace is to persevere in a situation in which we need His grace. If we run away, we may avoid the pain, but we will also be avoiding the chance to know God. Galatians 6:9 tells us not to become weary in doing good and that we will reap our harvest if we don’t give up. It is when we persevere that we find that God’s grace is sufficient and it also reveals to us who God really is.
Is perseverance easy? Of course not. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be perseverance. We don’t need God’s grace to persevere in the things we enjoy. the Bible exhorts us to persevere because God knows there will be times when we will want to quit. Perseverance implies difficulty but it is difficulty that has a purpose, and that purpose is to bring about a godly character that glorifies Almighty God.
A football recruiter asked a coach what type of player he wanted him to find to add to his team for the upcoming season. The coach said ‘I don’t want the kind of guy who gets knocked down and stays down.’ ‘Ok’ the recruiter said – ‘that makes sense.’ The coach said ‘then there is the guy who gets knocked down, gets back up, gets knocked down, gets back up.’ The recruiter said ‘Ok, I know what you want – you want the guy who gets back up when he is knocked down, right?’ “No” replied the coach. “I want that guy who is knocking everybody down!”
To be successful in life we must be able to bounce back after going through a difficult situation. Giving up is always easier than standing up. Giving in is always easier than digging in. You can allow circumstances in your life to become set backs or opportunities to bounce back. God wants us to know that we can come back from a setback –we can bounce back. Setbacks are normal in life. The devil tries his best to take advantage of setbacks because he knows people are vulnerable when things don’t turn out as they had planned. You’ll find that every successful person has had a setback or two and the reason they became successful was because they knew how to bounce back. Remember, Joseph had several dreams that he would become a man of great authority but he was sold into slavery by his brothers. That wasn’t a part of his dream- that was a setback. And then he was falsely accused and put in prison about 13 years. That wasn’t part of the dream – that was a setback. Despite all of those setbacks, Joseph made a comeback.
God is letting us know that even when we suffer setbacks, we can bounce back. Like Joseph, we must remain true to our integrity and honor God in everything we do and say no matter what happens to us. We are not to become bitter but trust that God is working out everything for our good. Things turn out for the best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. We must be careful when we are in the midst of a setback not to allow it to stop us from reaching our destiny. I believe God made us like a rubber ball. The harder you slam a rubber ball to the ground the higher it bounces up. So we have to picture ourselves as rubber balls. We have to bounce when we hit rock bottom; we have to pull ourselves together and bounce back from a setback. God is the power that will help you to bounce back. So rely on God’s wisdom, His strength and His grace. Proverbs 24:16 says “”For a just man falls seven times, and rises up again.” This verse implies that falling down is not the end nor is it necessarily a onetime event. We will have highs and lows throughout life, but God always expects us to rise up again.
Is Goliath taunting you today?
Goliath represents all of the obstacles in our lives that seem unbeatable and impossible to defeat. It is that one huge problem that you think just might be your undoing. It is a difficulty so great that it has you close to throwing in the towel. Most of us have a Goliath or two in our lives but we must defeat them because they will prevent us from inheriting our inheritance and rob us of hope and joy in our lives. You may not want to face your giants. You may want to run from them in fear but fear has two meanings – forget everything and run or face everything and win. The choice is yours. You may want to avoid your giants and hope that they will just go away. You need to know that your giants will not just go away. They must be faced and they can be defeated. If you are a child of God, then God has given you everything you need to overcome your fear of fighting your giants. Romans 8:31,37 says “If God is for us, who can be against us? … Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
When David went to fight Goliath, it was not the armor of Saul or the strength of the whole Israelite army that he was trusting in, but it was God. David believed that God would defeat Goliath. If David had been trusting in himself, he would have been killed. God was his strength and the battle was the Lord’s — not his. When it becomes time to confront Goliath, our defense is our relationship with God. We must trust in His strength no matter what others may consider to be the best way out of our difficulties. No matter what type of Goliath you may be facing, you must first believe that God is bigger than your problem. Attack your giant in faith, knowing that God always gives the victory. God did not save you to let you fall at the hand of your giant. God is not interested in your defeat. He is interested in your victory!
Giants are placed in our lives to grow us in the Lord. You may not see your giants fall the instant you exercise faith in God. Don’t let that cause you to lose hope. You see, you cannot always believe what the eyes of flesh see! But, you can always believe what the eyes of faith see. Remember, we are to walk by faith and not by sight. It may look like you are outgunned, outnumbered and in an impossible situation. It looked that way for David and that is why his Goliath laughed at him. Goliath had a false sense of superiority. I would just like to remind you that we serve a God who specializes in doing the impossible. If you will bring that hopeless, impossible situation to God and then go and face it in faith, you will see that you can do all things in Christ who gives you the strength. (Philippians 4:13).
Does your problem seem bigger than life, bigger than God himself? It isn’t! God is bigger than any problem you will ever have and if you believe that God isn’t infinitely bigger than your circumstances, then your fear is bigger than your faith. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.”(Hebrews 11:1). “But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6).
God appeared to Sarah when she was ninety years old and told her she was going to have a baby. The thought was so ridiculous to her that she laughed. Then God rebuked her when He asked “is anything too hard for the Lord?”(Genesis 18:14). A year later she gave birth to a son, whom she named Isaac, which in Hebrew means “laughter”. Every time Sarah called his name, she reminded herself of the day she laughed in God’s face at the thought of an impossible situation.
When you are facing problems and difficulties in your life, don’t focus on how big your problems are, but focus on God who is much bigger than your problems. Ask yourself if there is anything too hard for God? Nothing is impossible with God and He has the power to help you get through. Even when the situation seems impossible, God will always show you the way out. He cares for you and all you need to do is trust Him. Remember that all problems can be solved, circumstances can change but God will never change because He is the same yesterday, today and forever and He will cause you to laugh in amazement at all that He has in store for you.