Max discovered the importance of perseverance in a half-Ironman triathlon. After the 1.2 mile swim and the 56 mile bike ride, he didn't have much energy left for the 13.1 mile run. Neither did the fellow jogging next to him. Max asked him how he was doing and soon regretted posing the question.
"This stinks. This race is the dumbest decision I've ever made." The guy had more complaints than a taxpayer to the IRS. Max’s response to him? "Goodbye." He knew if he listened too long, he'd start agreeing with him.
Max caught up with a 66-year-old grandmother. Her tone was just the opposite. "You'll finish this," she encouraged. "It's hot, but at least it's not raining. One step at a time… don't forget to hydrate… stay in there." As Max ran next to her, his heart was lifted but soon his legs couldn’t keep up with her. Finally he had to slow down. "See ya at the finish line!" She waved and kept going.
Who you surround yourself with and the voices you choose to listen to are absolutely vital to your ability to persevere. It’s a truth most of us agree with but few actually push back against or challenge those voices.
In the midst of a long, tiring, and difficult season of life, it’s easy—and even understandable—to want to throw in the towel. From marriage, to parenting, to the daily grind of work, it’s important to develop endurance, because the race of life is long and demanding. Your true friends want you to persevere. They want you to refuse to quit. They want you to run with endurance.
Your endurance has another purpose too: To encourage others to do the same! God may use your perseverance to spur someone else on to love and good deeds. (See Hebrews 10:24) Or even draw them to put their faith in Him. Sometimes our greatest witness to a lost world is simply a life lived faithfully in the midst of trials and opposition.
Keep loving. Keep serving. Keep working. Keep praying. Keep persevering. Keep shining. Don’t quit.
Nehemiah adopted a posture we frequently find in the Psalms. That is, he entrusted his situation to God. Can that be your challenge today? Entrust your situation to God. Whatever opposition, setback, trial, or challenge you’re facing, entrust it to God today.