Today we have a guest post by Landen Melton, the owner and creator of Devotable. Devotable is an online Christian devotional that I’m blessed to be able to contribute to. Landen also just released a book of devotions, called Perseverance. I’m so excited to welcome him to Emerge Triumphant! Enjoy his post, then check out his site and new book!
Perseverance produces what? Well, there are a lot of things perseverance produces and not all of them are good. Depending on how we handle the issues, we can produce a lot of pain and turmoil in our life if we handle them poorly.
As Christians, we’re never promised peace and prosperity, until the Lord comes and reigns again. I don’t care what anyone else tells you on television, online, on your favorite podcast, or on social media. You can’t have enough faith or pray yourself into peace and prosperity. It’s not in the Bible and anyone telling you otherwise is misquoting scripture or taking it out of context.
What is promised in the Bible is that we as Christians will face trials, tests of faith, and tribulations. It’s just a fact of life. And how we handle these situations determine what we learn and how we grow in our faith.
Perseverance produces many good qualities if handled correctly. Here are three attributes perseverance produces in our life if we handle trials according to God’s word.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3 NIV
Paul tells us that perseverance through suffering produces character. Character defined means the mental or moral qualities distinctive to an individual. I believe that as Christians, our character should reflect that of our savior, Jesus Christ.
And through suffering, we should become more like him. We should become more patient, understanding, kind, meek, gentle, helpful, and the list goes on.
Suffering can bring out these qualities in us because it helps us relate to others better. Someone who’s never had to deal with the death of a loved one, the struggle of marriage, raising kids, or wrestling with their sin can’t relate.
But you, who have gone through it, can relate to others in the same situation. Therefore, it gives you the characteristic of empathy and understanding.
We can choose to let our suffering get the best of us, fold our arms and give in. Or, we can choose to persevere and allow it to produce in us the character of Christ.
As struggles in our life come and go, it produces in us the ability to deal with more. God gives us the grace to remain, and through that, produces in us characteristics similar to Him.
Allow your suffering to produce in you the character of Christ.
Secondly, perseverance produces habits. These can either be good habits or bad.
When we’re in the midst of a struggle, we have a tendency to do what is familiar. Sometimes, we put our heads down and shut off to the world, hoping people won’t notice our problems. We hope the issues will just go away.
We hope that people won’t ask us, the depression will resolve itself, or the suffering and pain will just magically stop one day as we trudge through work and life.
Going through the motions gives us comfort because it’s familiar to us. But this can often produce bad habits. Habits that isolate us and cause us to stop communicating with others. Habits that appear to others as normal but in reality make us dead on the inside.
However, if we choose to cultivate good habits in the midst of a trial, this can lead to a lifetime of rewards.
For example, if we choose to make it a habit to connect with someone in our small group daily or weekly, and let them know what we’re going through, this can lead to habitual communication with other brothers and sisters for the rest of our life. We can establish lifelong friends and partners that will strengthen our faith and help us through the struggle.
When we’re in the midst of strife, if we choose to communicate with God daily, through His word and prayer, we can cultivate a healthy habit of daily study and communion with Him.
If you’re in the middle of a battle, persevering through a problem, I encourage you today to cultivate good habits. Make them familiar and in doing so, that will give you peace. Familiarity will help you through the fight and when you emerge, you’ll have habits that will last you a lifetime.
Choose to cultivate good habits.
Perseverance produces mature Christians.
because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:3-4 NIV
My son is currently going through a know-it-all phase. I’m sure this will become infinitely more frustrating when he’s a teenager, but right now it’s kind of funny.
He’s into video games and as we watch people play video games on Youtube (yes that’s a thing), he’s always observing their highlight reels and saying things like “Wow, I did that the other day” or “Yea, I can do that easy”.
It’s similar to people seeing someone dunk a basketball, score a touchdown, or do a quad cork 1800 in the winter Olympics snowboarding. The amount of work that goes into pulling off these feats is unbelievable.
Likewise, the amount of hours that people practice video games to get to the level of a professional gamer (yes that’s a thing too) is likewise staggering. It’s like any other craft that takes practice and skill.
For him to minimize their work and say things as he does requires correction. He needs to understand and grasp the amount of practice, patience, and perseverance that goes into becoming as good as they are. Understanding this allows him to realize that if he ever wants to be as good as they are, he will need to mature and get better at his craft.
The first chapter in the book of James tells us that when perseverance is finished, it can produce a mature and complete Christian.
Not that we have arrived in our Chrisitan walk and we’re done. But that we are now mature Christians, experienced in that aspect because perseverance has allowed us to hone the craft that trial was dealing with.
Someone who has weathered the storm of a divorce is infinitely more mature, and thus more qualified than I, to help and counsel someone else who’s going through that. Someone who has battled and put to death addiction is more mature and more qualified to help others who are currently in the ring fighting substance abuse.
Perseverance produces maturity in us that God can, and does use, to further his Kingdom.
So what have you persevered through and beat that God can use in your life? Have you persevered, matured in your walk with the Lord, and can use that maturity to help others who are struggling?
As we recognize the feats and maturity in others, know that God is working to mature us. He wants to use our struggles to glorify and honor Him through our response.
Just as we are in awe of people who can use their talents to perform on the field, in video games, or other aspects of life, let’s let God be honored by allowing our maturity to be used and bring glory to His name.
The Perseverance Book by Devotable
As we persevere through trials in this life, we must know that we’re not alone. We can rest assured that other believers have walked this path before. It often helps to hear and read their stories, connect with them and allow them to use the maturity and character they’ve built through these trials to help us.
Devotable has compiled a book of 30 devotions where people talk about their experiences persevering in the faith. Through death, sickness, family issue, marriage issues and much more, they detail their experience, offer thoughtful advice, questions, and scripture on how to persevere through your trials. If you need help with perseverance, I encourage you to check out this devotional.
Landen is a web developer by trade and an online entrepreneur by passion. He is the owner and creator of Devotable, an online Christian daily devotion project. Together with over 100 talented writers, they create inspiring devotions that help encourage believers and share the good news of Jesus Christ daily.