So I sat down with my Bible and journal. Did what I do and God broke through that dread.
Perseverance. We each have to have it to succeed in life; to become who we are meant to become. And when I refer to success in life I do not mean success as society views it (though that might come too), but perseverance in faith. If we don't, that is what we will be remembered for -- the quitting of God's way.
I thought about a few people in the Bible who persevered in God's way. Here's the list I came up with:
Abraham and Sarah (and Hagar); Jacob, Joseph, Tamar, Moses, Joshua, Rahab, Salmon, Boaz, Ruth, Samson's parents; Deborah, Hannah, Samuel, Jonathan, David, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, The prophets; Jehoida (great story -- 2 Chronicles 23 and 24); Jehoshabeath (another great story found in 2 Chronicles 22:11-12); Job, Nehemiah, Mordecai, Easther, Eleven of the disciples; The women who followed Jesus.
They all stuck it out with God even when things were really bad. What they didn't do was do it perfectly. Most every single one had moments they faltered that are recorded in the Bible. The ones who do not have their missteps recorded must have because they were human. These we know followed God and didn't quit.
Now for a couple people who are not remembered for following God's way:
Saul and Judas.
Both Saul and Judas followed God for a long time. Both had success in living for God.
In the first list, some of those people committed some horrendous sins.
So what's the difference?
The difference is a tender heart. The ones on the first list who messed up turned back to God when they were confronted with their waywardness. Saul and Judas never repented of their disobedience. They just kept going farther and farther away from God. Both could have repented. If they had they would have had different endings. If Saul had repented he might have ended up being a mentor for David. Some of the best mentors are people who have really messed up but have turned back to God.
Judas felt remorse, and he died in that remorse. He could have repented of his betrayal of Jesus and Jesus and the disciples would have welcomed him back. He could have been used by God in amazing ways. Instead he died in his remorse by hanging himself from a tree.
James writes, "And let endurance (perseverance) have its perfect result, that you may be perfect (mature), and complete (fully assured in the will of God), lacking in nothing." James 1:4
We aren't taught perseverance in our society. Everything is disposable. When we aren't enjoying something we quit and move to something else.
But there are always a few who persevere. May we each be one of those who persevere. We will never regret it.