Perseverance in undervalued. It's a virtue that gets ignored. It's not glamorous and may seem boring to some. Perseverance is underrated but it shouldn't be. It's a valuable virtue.
Perhaps it's viewed as underachieving or being stuck in a rut. But that would be inaccurate. Perseverance is all about strength and endurance.
Persistence is often valued and seen in a better light. It's a sought after quality in business and sales. And yet, persistence and perseverance have synonymous definitions.
Both words speak of continuing on in the face of adversity. Persistence and perseverance are highly valued in athletics and science, as they should be. When it comes to faith, God highly values perseverance and so ought we.
For a short time our fathers disciplined us as they thought best. Yet, God disciplines us for our own good so that we can become holy like him. We don’t enjoy being disciplined. It always seems to cause more pain than joy. But later on, those who learn from that discipline have peace that comes from doing what is right. [vss 10-11]
Strengthen your tired arms and weak knees. Keep walking along straight paths so that your injured leg won’t get worse. Instead, let it heal. [vss 12-13]
(Hebrews 12:10-13 GW) [Context– Hebrews 12]
Strengthen your tired arms and weak knees. Keep walking along straight paths.
Review the Scriptures above as you answer the following questions
What are we told about discipline and fathers? What is your experience with this as a child?
How is God's discipline described? What is His intended purpose for discipling us?
What is the universal response to discipline? Yet, what is the intended fruit of God's discipline?
How is the final exhortation in this text expressed? Does this make sense to you?
Over the past few generations, various stances have been taken on disciplining children. Typically, it vacillates between permissiveness and strictness.
This seems to reflect what is seen regarding spiritual discipline in the church. It can be seen in what's tolerated culturally but more importantly, it reveals how we value and view personal discipline in our lives.
None of us would choose correction or discipline for the most part. Thankfully, God is both merciful and gracious. If we don't pursue spiritual discipline for ourselves, He provides the means for us to receive it, as in a previous devotional.
When we embrace God's discipline applied in our lives it benefits us. Then we mature and grow spiritually. When we resist it, then we get stuck in a rut and underachieve. When we persevere during trials and tests in life and keep walking in straight paths, it will bear peaceable fruit in our lives.
Make it personal...
Read through the Scripture text again as you consider and answer these questions
How have you seen God bring correction and discipline in your life?
When have you experienced the benefit of perseverance in your walk of faith?
In what ways do you both pursue spiritual discipline in your life now?
Where have you seen the direct result (fruit) of God's discipline in your life?
Here's a free introduction for the book of Hebrews— Intro to studying Hebrews