Prayer and Reflections

Persevering in Troubled Times

“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…”
Hebrews 12:1-2

This verse is the theme for my newest book, Reflections on Perseverance—Enduring Trials with Faith and Patience. It reminds us that life is a race we all must run, and how we finish depends on our daily efforts. 

Pain and suffering are an inevitable part of our earthly lives. How we respond to these trials determines the effectiveness of our witness for Jesus Christ and the Christian faith. Scripture gives us many examples of those who have been inspired and strengthened by the Holy Spirit to persevere in the face of extreme persecution and hardship. These examples remind us that perseverance is a major stepping stone to godly character and is gained as we move through life’s pain and suffering rather than try to escape it. At the very least, it gives us a small indication of the price Jesus paid for our salvation.

Perseverance involves faith, trust, patience, and grit. It requires moving beyond self and trusting God and His promise to work all things together for our good and His greater purposes (Romans 8:28). It means recognizing our need to focus daily on His love, power, and faithfulness and respond in humility and obedience to negative realities that tempt us to question God’s love and goodness.

“In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

O’ Lord,
When I see others around me struggling
With problems greater than my own,
I’m ashamed of my self-pitying ways
And how little my faith has grown.

Then I’m reminded of Your warning, Lord,
Pain and suffering Your followers will know,
But as we look to You with trusting hearts,
We’ll find opportunities for our faith to grow.

For it is as we place our trust in You,
Seek Your counsel in our pain,
Refocus on You and not circumstance,
A new perspective and optimism we’ll gain.

And in times of pain and suffering
You’ll equip us to share with other souls,
The hope and encouragement You offer
As we yield to Your will and control. 

© 2021, Reflections on Perseverance, Doris Haver Rouse

Available now in paperback and Kindle formats at Amazon.com.

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