Psalm 129 reminds us that despite the hardships they encountered, the righteous in Israel hadn’t gone anywhere. Their oppressors gave them their best shot and when the smoke, dust, and ashes had cleared away—the righteous hadn’t cut and run, they were still standing. Don’t you love that? That was Israel’s story. Whether they were on the far side of the Red Sea celebrating, looking down at a lifeless Goliath in the valley of Elah or emerging from a furnace on the plain of Dura—they were still standing.
This speaks to their perseverance. It’s a trait that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves probably because there’s nothing flashy about it—you just keep showing up. And while there’s more to following God than simply showing up, there’s a lot to be said for making yourself consistently available to Him.
It was Calvin Coolidge, our nation’s thirtieth president, who said,
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
Perseverance is one of the qualities that Peter calls for us to add to our faith in 1 Peter 1:5-7. “If you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 8). All of us want to be effective and productive disciples of Jesus and Peter reminds us that perseverance is an important part of that.
With that in mind, what is it that you’re struggling against—a difficult work environment, a sinful habit, anxiety issues? Whatever it is, remember this: we serve a Lord who took the best shot the world had to give and when it was all over the tomb was empty because Jesus was still standing.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)