It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. I Corinthians 13:7
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:13
This final week in my series of life-giver rules; this last rule number 14 is the base of what keeps a life-giver going. Perseverance in Webster’s 1828 dictionary says, “Continuance in a state of grace to a state of glory; sometimes called final perseverance.” The life-giver cannot keep a good attitude without persevering. Romans 5:3 brings up the point that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance character and character, hope. I’m going to reference Romans 5:3 to the last verse in the love chapter, I Corinthians 13:13 that is talking about faith, hope, and love.
Perseverance is faith in action. The life-giver has to get through trials without being negative and focusing on all the bad. The life-giver knows that things will turn out for the best because we know God is in control and He has a better plan than what we had thought. As I write this blog, I am going through a major trial in my life, trying to find a full time job so I can feel like a provider for my family again. It’s been so long since I have had one and it really is affecting my standard of living that I am used to. I have had part time jobs as I go along, but they are part-time and don’t make a major impact in our finances. I put in for this great full-time position not too long ago and found out tonight that I had been turned down. I didn’t even get considered for an interview. God is the only one who can see the forest through the trees and so I know He has something better planned for me. I believe it’s to focus on my Personal Trainer business that I has been a dream of mine for 5 years now. I know I am going to be a success at it, but I need to be patient and persevere as the life-giver I claim to be. The first thing we need to remember is that faith is built on tribulation. We see God do a great work in our lives and we can put our trust and faith in that fact. We cannot see it in the present, but in the future we will see the outcome and it will always be good. To see the future we cannot dwell on the negative of the past and the present. We have to trust God is going to bring us to that good point in our life. He always does it in the nick of time, like the Calvary in those old western movies.
Tribulation brings us to the main point of this blog and that is perseverance. Without the determination to make it through the crisis we cannot see what God has planned for us. What I mean is we simply will not move forward into God’s great plan for our lives if we dwell on the past. Yes, I may have made some poor moves in my past life, but that is all over and it’s time to move forward. Perseverance is that forward movement that we need to launch us into the next phase of our faith.
Tribulation and perseverance continue to build our faith, but the next step is they produce character. When God sees us becoming determined in the midst of a nasty trial, He builds not only our faith, but our character. What character does is it gives us favor both with God and with man. Favor can get you out of hot water very quickly. When you get that godly character within you, you develop God eyes in your life. Meaning you may not see clearly, what God has planned, but you know it’s going to be awesome. The only time we should look back is to remember what got us here to begin with and that is God. King David before he killed Goliath looked back and found courage in knowing that God delivered him from the claws of the bear and the mouth of the lion, so he knew God would do no less with Goliath. Character is facing a bunch of Goliaths in your life and winning every time.
The keys to faith are tribulation, perseverance, and character. Faith brings us to the next step that perseverance gives us and that is hope. Hope is where character comes in. When we have favor, we have that hope that King David had. Hope keeps our perseverance going. I don’t know about you, but when I have hope, it keeps me moving forward. This brings us to our last, the most important thing produced, and that is love. Love is the life-giver’s weapon of choice. It’s the thing that restores, repairs, heals, helps, strengthens, gives us an attitude of gratitude. As Paul says it so perfect, love is the greatest of faith, hope, and love.
Perseverance is the thing that keeps all the rules of the life-giver going. Faith is built with tribulation, perseverance, and character. Then hope comes in and keeps us moving into the best thing we can have as a life-giver and that is love. God gave us these rules of being a life-giver in every relationship in our lives; in our marriages, our families, and our friends. Life-giver rules help us to express love as an action and not a feeling. No matter what you are facing today or tomorrow, always keep moving forward, always persevere.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.