How To Persevere When Life Sucks
You will face difficulty.
You will face hardship.
Life does not always go as planned.
There will be pain.
ARE YOU ENCOURAGED YET?
We all know these things are true, as uncomfortable as it is to face them. Life can be a roller coaster of the good and the bad; seasons of complete happiness; and then on the other hand cold, dark, winters of the soul.
But how do we persevere in either season? When things are good, we have enough money, the job is great, and so is the family. How do we keep away from thinking those things keep us happy? That the source of who we are comes from what we’ve built or what we have accomplished?
In difficulty, how do we lean into God and not blame others? Slipping into prolonged bitterness that sours the soul far beyond the time of mourning?
Jesus speaks to perseverance in Matthew 24 when he is, of all things, talking about the end of the world.
Because of the multiplication of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Notice the key phrase at the beginning of Jesus’ statement. The love of most will grow cold.
I want to suggest that perseverance, in it’s purest distilled form, is love.
Think of the soldier fighting for his country. Now, any soldier will tell you that’s why they signed up in the first place, for country and duty. But when the bullets and the stink and raw emotion of war began, in reality, they fight and hold ground for each other. When the killing and the dying start, it’s the brotherhood that forms the sinews of war.
There is no stronger pervasive force than love.
But how do we translate this to ‘sticking it out’…so to speak?
Well, here’s a simple question that will answer that question; Who loves you, and who do you love?
So how do we find love that lasts forever? A love that endures?
Let’s keep it simple.
Love grows out of dwelling on the object or person desired.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned
Abiding, focusing, dwelling, living in constant relationship to a living Jesus will keep a love that endures alive. Not some mushy movie love. A love strong, like the bond of brothers in war; but pliable enough to be shattered and reformed like clay again and again and again. The opposite of Fear is love. Fear is simply a vacuum of uncertainty that only love, real love, God love, can fill.
Many times perseverance is doing it again. Loving again. Doing what you don’t feel like doing again; of course never for the sake of it, but for the love of Christ…persevere.
I’ll leave you with a passage from Paul the Apostle.
1 Corinthians 16:13
Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
Let’s remember what he said a few passages earlier about love, especially, that it never fails.