Joel Plantinga

Read: Romans 5:1-11

We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (vv. 3-4 NIV)

The national sports highlights always feature the “Top Ten” plays from the night before. In it, you always see incredible shots, great throws, amazing catches, and otherworldly feats of the human body. But remember that every incredible play is the culmination of thousands of hours of tedious practice and work that would never make a highlight reel. For every superstar athlete there are probably hundreds with similar abilities but lacking in perseverance.

Nobody grows up dreaming about the hardworking person who just outworks everyone else to get things accomplished. In reality, no amount of talent in the world can overcome the fruit of hard work. People with perseverance understand that the big achievements of life never come easily. As British preacher Charles Spurgeon said, “By perseverance the snail reached the ark.”

Perseverance produces eternal fruit but demands time, consistency, effort, and the willingness to fail before succeeding. We all want a dynamic relationship with God, but are we willing to spend hours reading the Bible and praying to him? We want to please God, but are we willing to serve others in anonymity to meet their needs? This is how faith literally walks!

Remember that “for the joy that was set before him [Jesus] endured the cross” (Heb. 12:2). He persevered through his unspeakable pain so that he might accomplish his mission on earth. We are called to persevere as well. If you’re stuck right now, don’t turn around—press on! —Joel Plantinga

Prayer: Lord, help us to never give up. Give us the strength to persevere for you. Amen.