THE CONNECTION BETWEEN PERSEVERANCE AND GOD’S CHARACTER, AS SHOWN THROUGH GOD’S BIG STORY. PERSEVERANCE IS A RESPONSE OF THE CHARACTER OF GOD.
We start the month in Matthew 28:16-20 and Acts 1-2 as we listen in on the last conversation Jesus had with His disciples before going back to heaven. He gave them a huge mission—to share His message to ends of the earth. He also promised that they wouldn’t have to do it alone. He would send the Holy Spirit to help. When the Holy Spirit did come at Pentecost, the Spirit gave the disciples power to accomplish the task Jesus set out for them.
Bottom Line: Keep going because God is with you. We all have jobs to do. Some jobs feel completely overwhelming and make us feel like we want to give up. God can give us the strength we need to keep going and finish what we started.
Next, we head to Acts 16:16-40 to discover what happens when Paul and Silas were arrested. They could have given up their calling to spread the message of Jesus. However, even in the middle of this difficult situation they decided to worship God. And when the time came, they had the right words at the right time and helped the jailer and his family start a relationship with Jesus.
Bottom Line: You can choose joy when life gets hard. We will all face times when life is hard. How we respond to those situations matters. We hope that kids start to understand that when they choose joy, they can point others to Jesus.
Next we head to Hebrews 12:1 where the author of Hebrews reminds us that when life gets hard, we can look to the heroes of the faith and see how they trusted God through some extremely difficult circumstances. God brought them through those trials, and God will help us through ours.
Bottom Line: God can help you let go of what is holding you back. It’s comforting to know that others have made it through to the other side of difficult times. When we see how God helped them, it helps us trust God more with our own circumstances.
We finish out the month with another passage in Hebrews. In Hebrews 12:2-3 the author notes that to run the race of life with perseverance, we should focus our attention on Jesus. Jesus is the ultimate example of someone who endured death itself to accomplish the rescue mission God set out for Him.
Bottom Line: Keep going because of what Jesus did for you. Knowing that Jesus persevered through death and was resurrected is the best encouragement for us to keep going when life gets hard. When we focus on Jesus, we remember that nothing is impossible and God will help us get through whatever we face in life.