Persisting in Faith
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
~ Galatians 6:9-10
There is nothing in our lives than can take the place of persistence. As Thomas Edison said, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” Neither talent nor intelligence can bring success without persistence. How many intelligent and talented people make no really good use of their gift, because they cannot stick to something worthwhile? Determination and persistence are the keys to getting anything done, and God's work is no different.
It is easy to get discouraged and it happens to all of us — at least, everyone I know — fairly often in our lives. But to really accomplish anything worthwhile takes time. If you want to grow flowers, you have to plant the seed months in advance and then make sure it has everything it needs to grow. If you want to grow pecans, you have to plant the seed seven years in advance, and if you want to be a brain surgeon, it's going to take you about 15 years of constant, steady, dedicated work.
Growing in faith is the same way; it takes practice, and if you get discouraged and give up, you will never reap the rewards. There are really a lot of people today who seem to get baptized, learn a few things about Christ, and then fall into a routine where they stop growing. But I will testify, faith is like a shark; you have to swim forward to live.
There is a huge debate among theologians about who is saved and who isn't, and about whether salvation is permanent or whether it can be lost, and I don't want to take sides in it. But I do want to say, every Gospel and every epistle provides powerful encouragement for us not to “backslide”; and as Paul knows, from the quoted Scripture, we can simply get stale, bored, tired of doing good.
Tent preachers used to have “revival meetings” and I wonder why they disappeared, because every one of us needs revival. So think seriously about doing something that will galvanize your faith. Do something you've never done. Go to a new class, or attend a weekend meeting. Read a book about Christ, of a kind or on a subject you have never really thought about. Watch a faith-based movie, or go to another church one Sunday.
If you have some way you have found that helps you stay fresh in your faith, share it with us! Let us hear about it in the Comments section.
Lord, renew your Spirit in me, that I might never tire of doing your will. Amen.
~ Mason Barge
Editor, Daily Prayer