Scripture: Hebrews 10:36-37
Today’s #WeWontShrinkBack Tool: Persevere with hope and patience.
Perseverance isn’t my favorite topic. I’d rather talk with my friends about the big moments when there was a breakthrough in our lives—when there was a birth or a wedding or a clear revelation from God.
But when I’m driving to dinner with my friends, more often than not, we don’t have a ton of big moments to discuss. We live in the generation where beautiful selfies flood our phones, but our lives aren’t glamorous or exciting like a celebrity’s Instagram account. Of course, we have times of celebration, but for the most part, our lives—just like yours—are about waiting and working hard.
For the most part, we spend our dinner conversations encouraging each other to hang on, to carefully discern which decisions to make, and to choose unselfishness instead of complaining.
Perseverance keeps popping up in the bible passages I study and in the great examples of faith I read. Like I said, perseverance isn’t my favorite—it isn’t glamorous or exciting. But here’s the thing: I’m now convinced that IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO LIVE BY FAITH WITHOUT PERSEVERING.
Yesterday we talked about not throwing away our confidence, and in Days 1 & 2, we looked at the hardships the original audience of Hebrews was facing. We also identified discouragements we have in our lives. What situation are you in right now that is difficult for you to persevere through?
As the author of Hebrews embellishes on the theme of confidence in these few paragraphs, he points out the importance of perseverance. In fact, in the very next verse, Hebrews 10:36, he tells us,
“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”
Here’s a simple way for us to remember how to persevere. Tom Wright writes that the main argument the author was making in these chapters of Hebrews is for the people to have confident hope and patience. I believe that hope and patience are key elements of perseverance.
So I propose this equation:
Perseverance = Hope + Patience
What do you think? Is that a good description for perseverance?
Hope: When we are clinging to our hope in Jesus, we are able to remember that God can restore what has been torn down, and He can redeem what seems to be ruined. Ultimately, we remember that one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we remember that Jesus will wipe every tear away. When we hang onto this hope, we can keep going.
Patience: But you and I know that perseverance is required not just for any difficult situation, but for those difficult situations that keep dragging on without a resolution in sight. Perseverance is needed after the zeal has worn off. Perseverance requires patience. Being patient means that we trust God’s timing even when we want a different schedule. Being patient means trusting that God is doing something good while we are waiting and working.
As you think about persevering in the will of God, what do you need more of today—hope or patience?
If you chose HOPE, know that there is no shortage of verses about hope in the Bible, so take your pick.
If you chose PATIENCE, then please read these verses about patience.
Because today’s #WeWontShrinkBack tool is Persevere with hope and patience, let’s take a minute to ask God for more hope and more patience. I encourage you to take a few minutes to ask God to help you persevere through your situation.
P.S. One week until copies of my book are available! :) You can download Chapter 1 for free.
 Wright, Tom. (2004.) Hebrews for Everyone. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.
Mary works at Brookville Road Community Church, where she leads children's ministry and women's ministry. She is the author of She Won't Shrink Back: A Story of Building & Believing.