The Woman with the issue of blood
When I think of the meaning behind the word perseverance I am reminded of the woman with the issue of blood in the book of Matthew 9:20 who had been suffering with her condition for 12 years. I cannot begin to imagine how she must have struggled not only physically but emotionally during her period of suffering. The loneliness of isolation and the depression she would have experienced due to her condition.
Thankfully, Jesus had a specific time in mind for this woman to be restored back to her full health.
The woman was healed when Jesus was walking to the home of a ruler who had asked of Jesus that he heal his 12 year old daughter. As I read the words, I kept asking myself what God trying to achieve by choosing this specific moment in time? The woman who had struggled for so long came back to life when she touched the edge of Jesus’s cloak. She had been spiritually dead all of those 12 years and at that very moment of healing she came back to life. Her name was Veronica. She is said to be one of the women who walked with Jesus tending to him when he carried the cross. The two people whom God had chosen to heal on this momentous day also experienced an awakening and a re-birth in their lives. Both the life of the 12 year old girl and the woman were completely turned around from that moment onwards.
Why God wants me to persevere
I have realised throughout my struggles that each time God makes a promise, that very promise is already cemented in heaven. When he shines light onto a situation that I am facing this usually means he has already provided a solution. The beauty of persevering through situations whether they are health struggles or everyday struggles means that with each and every one of my struggles I become emotionally stronger and better able to deal with surprises that life brings along the way. If I can persevere through any situation and do so with joy, I can stand strong and tall and boast about the God who sustains me.
The Bible promises a reward for those who persevere.
James 1: 2-4
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Examples of people in the Bible who persevered
- Abraham and Sarah in their waiting for a child that God had promised to them – Abraham believed God and this was credited to him as righteousness in Genesis 15:6.
- Paul in the Galatians – Paul was persecuted and placed in chains and throughout all the turbulence he experienced in his lifetime he learned the art of being content in every situation thrown at him. Phil 4:11-12
- Jesus persevered – Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you will not fall into temptation.’ He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’ An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” – Luke 22:39-44
What comes out of perseverance?
Patience is the waiting – Waiting on God in the fullness of his joy. In the past I would spend my time in the waiting desperate for my situation and circumstance to change. I have learned that a patient heart is one that is content in any and every circumstance.
God is always aware of whatever situation I am facing. Trusting God means knowing that he has made a way for my struggle. He has already walked the rugged pathway and has made provision for me to conquer.
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In times where I face adversity, I emerge stronger and more resilient. Perseverance reveals an inner strength that I would not otherwise realise existed within.
Wisdom and maturity
No negative experience is meant to break me. One of the rewards that comes out of persevering is God’s wisdom and maturity that arises as a result. I know that God is for me he is never against me.
You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. … The LORD your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. Deut 28:6