In my last article, I closed with the reminder that our life is like a race and requires focus, discipline, and hard work on our part.
Further, that we are to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12, verse 1).
I like words such as perseverance because they remind me to keep on keeping on despite difficulties.
Perseverance is defined as “continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition”.
The word “chutzpah” is another example and one which I enjoy saying. (It is pronounced “huuts-pah” if you would like to give it a try.)
It is a Yiddish word with meanings ranging from shameless audacity and nerve to determination.
Here I am referring to the meanings of persistence, unyielding tenacity, and bold determination.
We need those abilities – persistence, tenacity and determination – to be able to persevere through life and especially during troubles or suffering.
I have learned an important lesson about persevering through such times.
Simply put, we must face them with God and not on our own. I have tried both ways and am astounded at the difference.
For example, when we trust and follow God through painful circumstances, several things happen:
First, we come to know him more and experience His presence, love, and peace in a way we wouldn’t otherwise.
Second, as we allow the Lord to fill us with his spirit and strength, we learn the truth of Paul’s words: “when I am weak, then I am strong”.
It is truly in our brokenness and frailty that God’s strength is made perfect in us (2 Corinthians 12) and we are able to keep going in a way that would be impossible in our own strength or ability.
Third, we are changed. Instead of becoming bitter and despondent – which can happen when we try it on our own – we learn and grow.
Even through the pain, we develop perseverance and become more like Christ during trials and hardship.
Although I like to think that I have chutzpah, I know exactly where my hope, strength, and perseverance originate.
They come from spending time with Jesus and including him in every part of my life. I have seen firsthand how He can take hopeless situations and make something good out of them.
The great news is that is exactly what he wants to do. He waits for us to ask him into our life so He can guide and help us every day.
So do not hesitate to ask. You can be assured that Christ will keep his promise: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11, verse 28)
Patricia Bryan is the pastor of His Path Christian Centre and the Academy of Prayer.