“I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me--the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of His return.”
~2 Timothy 4:7-8a
Webster's dictionary describes perseverance as: “to persist in anything undertaken in spite of difficulty or obstacles”.
Everyone has a life-story to tell. Oftentimes people try to visualize where their life-story is leading them. They also quickly realize that through-out their lifetime, perseverance was required.
There was a newspaper story about a person finding a “1942 love letter written by a soldier to his pregnant wife”. That person persevered for about 10 years to find information regarding the life-story of either the person who wrote the letter, or the one to whom the letter was written.
The story went like this: a lady went to a thrift store and purchased a dress pattern for 25 cents. When she arrived home she found the letter that was tucked inside the dress pattern envelope.
For the next 10 years that person would periodically search the Internet to find the couple or perhaps a relative. In 2014 an obituary for the wife of the soldier was found, and with the “help of the funeral home” a son was located. She mailed his father's “1942 love letter” to him. This particular life-story is an example of a lady who acted with kindness and perseverance.
A biblical example of perseverance is in the life-story of Hannah who persisted in prayer. Hannah was the wife of Elkanah who was a devout husband. Hannah's greatest sorrow was that she was unable to bear children, and because of that, she was subjected to frequent chidings from Peninnah who was the second wife of Elkanah, and Hannah's rival.
Every year Elkanah and his family would journey from Ramah to Shiloh to worship at the tabernacle. It was there that Hannah with deep anguish prayed for a son, and made a vow to the LORD Almighty. She prayed, “if You will look down upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to You. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that He has been dedicated to the LORD, his hair will never be cut”.
God heard Hannah's prayer, and in His timing, He answered it. She bore a son and named him Samuel. When Samuel was weaned, Hannah kept her vow to God and took him to Shiloh to the tabernacle, and gave him “to the LORD”. She stated: “...he will belong to the LORD his whole life” (NLT).
God's people should not give up! The lady in the newspaper article persevered 10 years to find the life-story of the owner of the love letter. Hannah's life-story conveyed her perseverance through childless years, and through prayer and determination, she remained steadfast in her faith in God.
Paul reminds all of God's people to: “keep our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish”, then they will be able to persevere and their life-story will glorify Him!
Lord God thank You for helping us to run our race with faith and perseverance. Amen.
~ Ann Brock Ludington