"I love the sense of satisfaction that I get when I’ve done a swimming workout or race, and know that I gave my whole being and heart to God in every moment of the swim. It’s the best worship I can offer him."
PerseveranceFor this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith…perseverance; 2 Peter 1:5-6
The story of John Stephen Akhwari from Tanzania has been told and re-told. In the 1968 Mexico Olympic Marathon, Akhwari was injured in a fall early in the race, leaving him in no state to run a competitive race. As he limped across the finish line, over an hour after the winner, he was asked why he did not just quit. He replied, “My country did not send me 7,000 miles to start the race”.
Anyone who has ever run has experienced a day when the body will not work and the finish seems impossibly far off. The satisfaction of getting to the finish line alive is immense.
All of us have things in our lives that require perseverance. Whether it's suffering, pain from injuries, broken relationships or other pains; when we persevere through these things we find a great product. Character is the result of a life of perseverance.
Persevering through tough times is like a precious metal being refined by fire. The fire purifies the metal as impurities are liquefied and skimmed off. Perseverance removes the impurities, the excess baggage, the junk from our lives, producing character as its reward. Paul tells us that perseverance produces character. Persevere in today's competition and reap the reward of outstanding character.
Other Bible verses on perseverance:
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1
Thanks to Roger Lipe for some of the ideas here