I apologize for not blogging last week. I had to work last weekend, and between work, school, family, and church responsibilities, I simply could not squeeze in time to blog as well. Alas!
I am 13 weeks away from graduating from Divinity School, and I am counting down the days. Earning a master’s degree while working (running a ministry) and tending to family and church responsibilities has been tough. It has required much sacrifice, particularly having to say no to spending time with people I care about so I can say yes to school. The hardest part is that outside of being obedient to God, I have no motivation for earning this degree. I have never had a desire to earn another degree, much less one in theology, and some of the reasons why I did not want to earn a theology degree have been a source of frustration for me.
I tell you this not to complain but to introduce an unpopular biblical topic: perseverance. Most Christians would much rather focus on the fun stuff, such as prosperity, joy, and peace. There’s nothing fun about developing perseverance, and yet the Bible is clear that it is an important part of the Christian walk:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ~ Jas. 1:2-4
And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. ~ Rom. 5:2-5
As I am growing weary of having precious little time for time with friends and doing things I enjoy, I am developing perseverance. I am learning to continue to deny myself, take up my cross, and follow Jesus when I am tempted to quit. This blog series will explore the value of perseverance and encourage you to keep pressing on when you are tempted to quit.
To be continued…
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace running on a treadmill, holding dumbells, and saying, “Workin’ It!” Courtesy Bitmoji.]