March 27th 2013
Recently I have noticed a trend in our culture. I would call it an aversion to the difficult, the strenuous, and the challenging. We prefer the easy road—the road well trodden—with lots of rest stops and Starbucks along the way. Somehow we have come to equate Christian faith with ease, abundance, and continuous pleasure. Faith certainly opens our lives to blessing, but it also calls us to confront the most difficult of human challenges. Daniel Taylor reminds us of a forgotten virtue: “Perseverance means carrying on in the face of obstacles, continuing in what one is doing despite unfavorable circumstances. The marathoner perseveres despite a protesting body, the sculptor perseveres despite the unyielding stone, the husband and wife persevere despite the strains of marriage. In the things of the spirit, perseverance means continuing in faith when the conditions for faith are unpropitious. The Bible is a very realistic book. Its writers understand human psychology and the realities of life far better than most modern practitioners of mental therapy. It is full of encouragement to take heart in the midst of struggle, and of admonitions that the long run is more important than the short.” (The Promise Effect, p. 200, 201)
Look for indviduals in your church or community who serve quietly and faithfully. Chances are they don’t want anyone making a big deal about them—but you can thank them, affirm them, and tell them you’ll pray for them (and then really do so!). That kind of support will go a long way toward bolstering their perseverance. Pray Lord, help us to notice those who serve with no spotlight, no headlines, no need for recognition. Inspire us through their lives.