Perseverance

The apostle Paul wrote a letter to the church in a place called Philippi. This was a small city near the coast in present day Greece. Paul had success in evangelizing the area and helped establish a growing number Christian churches. We can read his letter in the New Testament book of Philippians.

One of my favorite passages in this letter is labeled Pressing Toward the Goal. The goal Paul writes about is primarily found in verse 14 of chapter 3 when he writes, "I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us." Essentially, Paul is declaring that the greatest goal for any believer in Jesus is to be with Him in glory and that this would require perseverance.

Perseverance. That's an amazing word! To persevere is defined as continuing in a course of action despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Perhaps when you take a while to think about it, you may have images of a great marathon runner persevering in order to finish the race. Now, stop and think about the times in your life when you maybe wanted something so badly that you were required to endure some type of pain or great obstacle in order to obtain it. Perhaps like me, however, there are also times when you simply gave up before obtaining it.

What is the secret to persevering? How is it that some people find that "certain something" that drives them on to attain the goal or complete the task or finish the race or cross the finish line, in spite of circumstances.

Well, actually, there are a few things that all of us can do to help us do all of those. If you will, open a Bible, turn to the book of Philippians, chapter 3 and start reading from verse 1 through 14 and compare the following to those verses.

1. Be joyful

2. Avoid the naysayers

3. Distinguish between the worthless and worthwhile

4. Clearly identify your goal

5. Have laser beam focus on that goal

6. Surround yourself with encouragers

7. Don't dwell on past mistakes and keep looking forward

8. Pattern your life after someone ahead of you

Apply these to your life and begin a new season of accomplishment!

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