The apostle Paul wrote a lot about perseverance. Here is the quote I promised I would share today:
Pressing on Toward the Goal
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV).
As I thought about what I would post today for My Tuesday Three (the last one of 2011), I was reminded of three bloggers who make my efforts to complete my post-a-day challenge for 2011 look easy compared to the challenges they have persevered through that they share about on their blogs.
The first blogger I want to share about is one I’ve mentioned several times before, but he provides such a wonderful ministry for those who are broken and struggling that he is worth another mention. He is Pastor Bryan Lowe of Broken Believers. Bryan shares openly about the many things he perseveres through on a daily basis, including the challenge of living with bipolar disorder and several medical conditions. On top of that, he lives in Homer, Alaska. I have no doubt it is a beautiful place and that the summers are glorious, but the winters are long and dark, with extremely short days. Just persevering through an Alaskan winter is something that would be difficult for me. But Bryan is fully aware of the goal. He knows that God has called him to be in relationship with Him, and so Bryan clings to His Savior to give him the strength to persevere.
The second blogger I want to share about is The NorEaster, who is an occasional contributor at Broken Believers but also has his own blog. He is another blogger who has endured spiritual challenges and storms in life, including the loss of a number of friends and family members. He provides spiritual encouragement and a place to be yourself at his blog. I don’t get a chance to read his blog as often as I’d like, but I am always blessed when I do. I always find that he has persevered and continues to push forward to the prize.
The third blogger I want to share is one who recently liked and commented on a post on my blog and subscribed to my blog. So I decided to check out her blog as well. What I discovered was a true story so heartbreaking – the kind of story most of us are only exposed to in horror movies or shows like Criminal Minds – that I could hardly continue reading. And yet, I had to continue so that I could do my part to make her story heard. Her name is Joan and her blog is called Angels of Secrets. I suggest you make sure you have a box of tissue before you start reading. What is so amazing about Joan is that she persevered through events most people could not, and then has the courage to share her story in blog form.
We persevere because God gives us the strength to do so. And we are blessed by the hope that perseverance leads to.
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:1-8 (NIV).