2007-02-09 - Perseverance
Matthew 24:13, "The one who endures to the end, it is he who shall be saved."
The Christian life is one beset with constant struggles. It is the one who endures to the end who shall be saved. It seems rather idealistic to say what I am about to say, but we are to let no temptation, affliction, opposition, or persecution distract us from our goal of finishing the course of our profession of faith. We are to live in such a way that we have no regrets. We are to follow Christ without reserve. We are not to retreat from our profession of faith regardless of what our struggles or weaknesses are. We hold fast our profession of faith with both hands and we seek to hold onto the end of the course.
Perseverance is a virtue that is the crown of every other virtue. It is not a virtue in itself because we must persevere in something, but it perseverance adds virtue to every grace. It is that which takes all our graces and brings them from beginning to end, from an initial understanding to perfection. Perseverance in our faith is a great evidence of our being under the care and love of the mercy of Christ. Love, humility, patience, self-denial, faith, repentance, and hope are just some of the graces that the servant of Christ seeks to persevere unto. It is a high calling. It is not for the faint of heart. We are prone to think that the Christian calling is one of meekness, love and peace. It is. It is at peace with Christ. The Christian is still at war with sin and that war has many battles. It will rage as long as we have breath.
It is the end of our faith that shows the truth of our faith. It is not enough to begin well. We must also strive to end well. The beginnings of a Christians walk are not as sure an evidence of his/her confession as the end. It is the abiding nature of faith that proves its worth. The Christian moves from faith to faith, from strength to strength. Perseverance requires a holding on and a holding out until the end. The Christian is to seek to be marked by continued progress in grace. It is like the Energizer Bunny who keeps going and going. The Christian can speak of his/her graces as still going, still doing, ever doing and ever going forward in perseverance. Perseverance can be called a perpetual motion in the things of the Lord. Those things that get in the way are no longer obstructions: discouragements are overcome, temptations are resisted, tribulations are endured, and persecutions become times of growth. Let us strive that we might persevere unto the end of our hope in Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria,