Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)
What’s the longest you had to persevere at any one thing? A week, several months? Perhaps even a few years? Noah holds what must be the record for perseverance. He spent 120 years building a very large boat on a mountain top in a time when it had never rained. Can you imagine the comments from neighbors and relatives? He and his family must have been a laughing stock for everyone in the area and even beyond. What he was doing seemed so fruitless and unnecessary, so worthless and wasteful. Why put all your time and resources into such a project? Sure, God told him to do it, but after building for a hundred years and not hearing anything more from God, you’d think he would get discouraged and quit. Wouldn’t you? But he persevered.
That’s what makes this such a remarkable story. He “ran with patience the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1-2). The key is to keep our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) and not on our circumstances. Are you getting weary? Is it hard for you to keep persevering? Don’t quit, for we’ll be rewarded for it if we persevere. The enemy will do anything to discourage us and get our eyes off Jesus. God wants to develop perseverance in us because it makes us so much like Jesus Himself who persevered and never quit until He accomplished all God had for Him. So next time we get weary remember Noah toiling away for 120 years. Remember to keep your eye on the goal, not on the circumstances around you. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
Hebrews 12:1-2, “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. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Romans 2:7, “To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.”
Romans 5:3-5, “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
- Are you known for your perseverance?
- What usually gets you to want to quit? What events or set of circumstance make it hardest to persevere? You should know, because the enemy knows and uses it against you.
- Pray and ask for the fruit of patience and for courage to keep moving ahead no matter what.
Jerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 14 years, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!
Posted on October 6, 2008