One of the definitions of perseverance in Webster’s 1828 dictionary is “A continuance in a state of grace to a state of glory.” Everyone seems to want the glory part, but nobody usually wants to persevere through all the obstacles and trials to get there. It takes a very real genuine man or woman to overcome obstacle after obstacle and trial after trial to fulfill a vision that God has placed in their heart. Habakkuk 2:2 says, “…Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.” We are to run with the vision that God has given us, but many people run away from the vision or calling that God has ordained them to. When the going gets tough, usually the people who are not tough get going (And not in the right direction). They reel back rather than go forward. They cower and lose heart in their task rather than trust in God to get the job done through them.
Trying to get a real job done or fulfill a vision is never easy and very few possess the will, fortitude, and long-suffering to see a true vision of God to the end. To put it in perspective, it’s like saying many people try to climb Mount Everest, but only a few in comparison actually make it to the top! There are people of all types out there. Some people are initially excited about a vision or work of God, but when a little opposition, testing, or trials come their way, they get scared off and can’t handle the minuscule amount of pressure that comes upon them. Other people may stay for a while, but if the vision disrupts too much of their own personal selfish lives, they will often abandon the work at hand and make excuses as to why they cannot get the job done. Others you may think will be with you till the very end, but surprise you when you find their hearts were not really right after all as they seek a “new birth” or rather an “easier road” which eliminates the cross and makes it possible for them to serve their idols instead.
In any case, no man or woman who fulfilled a vision or got a job done in their life that made a difference in this world ever did it because they “…Fell on top of the mountain” as Bradlee likes to say. In a true, faithful to God and His Word ministry, you will get everything including the kitchen sink thrown at you. In a real ministry you will run up against brick walls, mishaps, unfaithful people, be let down, and introduced to the world of, “Wow, this has never happened before…” in a thousand different ways, but GOD is faithful. Even in Job’s most dire hours, God was still was working all things together for good in Job’s life. (Romans 8:28) The Bible says in Job 42:12 that “…the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning…” Why? Because Job came through his trials being found faithful and because GOD was faithful to him.
Another example of this would be Joseph. He was betrayed by his brothers, sold as a slave, elevated in Potiphar’s house, then falsely accused and was even imprisoned, but again, GOD was working all things together for good in his life and in the lives of the millions of people the Lord used him to save. And these are just two examples.
The Bible is filled with men and women who had difficult roads to walk, but nevertheless they got the job done. Look at the life of Paul and all that he went through, but he persevered and in the end, he said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7) Look at all that Ruth had to go through with the death of her husband and leaving her homeland, but in the end, she so found favor that she was the only woman in the Bible spoken of as being a virtuous woman. Ruth 3:11 says, “And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.” What woman wouldn’t want that title? But look at what she had to go through to get there! Most women would want to be known in that way, but very few would have had the courage to persevere through all she had to go through and be found faithful through it all. Most women would’ve given up and because of that, they would have never been blessed by God in the end.
How many men would be willing to go through what David had to go through, or Joseph, Paul, or Daniel, Abraham or the disciples? The list could go on and on. So how about you? Are you the kind that shrinks away from the call when the going gets tough? Are you the kind that makes all the excuses in the world as to why you cannot get the job done? Or are you the kind that no matter how many times you get knocked down, you shake the dust off and by the grace of God get back up again and keep going? Though it’s not easy, I want to be the one who keeps going.
It is not enough to start a race well, it is only enough when you finish it well, and your race is not done until your life is complete. Will you stand before the Lord as a disobedient person who was never really a child of God, to begin with in the first place, but only called yourself His? Or will you be the one to whom the Lord will say, “…Well done, thou good and faithful servant”? (Matthew 25:21) God has given us the ability and grace through His Son Jesus Christ and by His Holy Spirit to overcome. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony. (Revelation 12:11) We as Christians cannot settle for defeat. Nor can we settle for solely being on the defensive in our world today. Christianity should be aggressive and on the offensive, taking it to the enemy rather than reeling back from every challenge because we get a few our feathers ruffled and experienced some opposition. The world is never going to change through pipsqueak, run and hide, pansy Christianity that in truth is no Christianity at all.
If God has given you a vision, run with it until it is complete and not before. If you run into a brick wall, find your way over it. If you run into a bump in the road, climb over it. Do not look for an excuse to leave the path because it gets a little tough. Again, “…Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.” (Habakkuk 2:2) Keep your eyes fixed upon the Author and Finisher of your faith as well (Hebrews 12:2) and remember we walk by faith and not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
It is only faith in Christ’s ability and not your own and a perseverant will or heart to see the vision come to pass, that will see you through to the end. So let this be an encouragement to all of you who are fighting the good fight of faith and let this be a rebuke to those of you who have given up and wandered off the path for and easier road and an exhortation to get back on it. Remember, it doesn’t matter how you begin the race, what matters is how you finish it! Persevere, persevere, persevere and never give up till the job is done.