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Beauty in Perseverance

beauty in perseverance

Beauty in Perseverance

by Anita Peluso

The last days of winter often feel like drudgery – painful waiting until we see the first blooms of spring. We long for the crocus, daffodils, and tulips of spring to brighten the gray landscape of winter, bringing hope of warmer, sunnier days. We may think of perseverance as drudgery, as the last days of winter. There certainly have been times in my life when the last thing I wanted to do was persevere. Yet, might there be hidden beauty in the transformational journey of perseverance?

Without a doubt, there are seasons in life when circumstances throw the darkest clouds over everything. Death, wickedness, and difficulties in this life are the result of the sin of Adam and Eve. It is not wrong to lament these circumstances, for the writer of Lamentations concludes, “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord” (Lamentations 3:18). But in the midst of his trials, he remembers that the steadfast love of God never ceases, and His mercies never end. In this remembrance, he declares that “The Lord is my portion therefore I will hope in him” (Lamentations 3:22-24). Despite the writer’s bleak outlook, when he turns his spiritual eyes to the Lord, he finds the encouragement needed to persevere.

Perseverance in the Old Testament

In the Old Testament God describes himself as “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” – characteristics of His endurance with a people who were fickle in following Him (Exodus 34:6). The New Testament calls God a God of endurance. Equally, Paul affirms that the scriptures were written so that we might find hope through the endurance and encouragement contained within its words (Romans 15:4-5). Remember, those scriptures for Paul are now our Old Testament.

Perseverance by Example

Paul named individuals from former Old Testament days whom he called a “great cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 11). These witnesses – such as Abel, Abraham, Noah, Moses, and many more unnamed followers of God – persevered through adversity, ridicule, persecution, and even death for the hope they found in God. Though we are indeed called to persevere, as this great cloud of witnesses has done, it is the perseverance of God throughout scripture that gives us hope. What hope would we have if God simply gave up on his plan to redeem a people for himself? Yet we know that he did not desert his plan, but that his plan for redemption through faith in Jesus Christ was made complete (John 19:28, 30, 36). And we continue to hope for the redemption of creation of which John spoke (Revelation 21).

Where is the beauty in Perseverance?

beauty in perseveranceHere lies the beauty in perseverance: because God himself is a God of endurance, He gives us the ability to also persevere. And through our perseverance, we discover a deeper communion in our relationship with God. The psalmists attest to God’s enduring nature:

  • “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
  • “The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)
  • “You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me” (Psalm 18:35)
  • “Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul.” (Psalm 66:16)

We too, as we persevere, may join in the chorus of the Psalms, declaring that God is our refuge, our strength, and near to us when we are faced with the challenges of this life. I know this to be true in my own life. For, during times of difficulty, disappointment, and loss, I encountered the enduring nature of God. In a season when my will to live was gone, God preserved me. When my disappointment was too heavy, God comforted me. Whether relationships failed me or I failed them, God remained –  persistently, steadfastly, faithfully.

He will do the same for you.


Anita recently graduated with an MA in Biblical Studies where her love of all things Old Testament took root. She lives in Western Washington with her software engineer husband and two furry cats.  Together, they are renovating 2 ½ unkempt suburban acres while converting a Ford Transit van into a camper van. On the side, she moonlights as a freelance quilt designer. You can find her on Instagram here.

Read more guest posts from Anita here.




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Day 8: Take One More Step

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Bible Readings for Day 8: Take One More Step–1 Kings 18-19.

Sometimes loving God with all our strength simply means that we take one more step. When our strength is gone, one more step can seem insurmountable. When we have walked as far as we can, one more step is not as easy as it sounds. It’s too risky. And we don’t know how it’s going to turn out. I’m thankful there are examples in Scripture that capture our human condition.

Meet Elijah. Although little is known about his background, we learn from 1-2 Kings that King Ahab and his wife, Jezebel, hated Elijah because of her affections for Baal worship. During Ahab’s reign, Elijah was used by God to orchestrate a great display of His power against Baal and the killing of 450 priests of Baal. He served God with vigor and courage regardless of the circumstances and obvious risk.

But soon after these events we are presented with a different view. We find Elijah running from Jezebel. Fear motivated his flight, but there was more to Elijah’s fleeing. He was exhausted. In fact, he was more than exhausted. He had had all he could take. All the mighty works and superhuman feats performed by the Lord through Elijah had been to no avail. The people were unchanged; the diabolical queen, undaunted.

Can you relate to Elijah? When was the last time at least some of these could have been your words. Have you ever been so desperate for a glimpse of God’s hand in your life that you were willing to do whatever you needed to do (even go without food) and go wherever you needed to go?

God knew Elijah needed Him. We see God move heaven and earth for this man to be encouraged. He is not forgotten. He is not alone. God met him with the perfect balance of mercy, purpose, and sovereignty. Elijah was instructed to go back. “Get back in there, Elijah.” God also gave him the task of anointing kings, which communicated that the troubles Elijah saw that day in Israel would soon come to an end. God would prevail over wickedness. He then acknowledged Elijah’s loneliness by instructing him to anoint Elisha as his replacement.

God knows you and I need Him too. At times when we are absolutely exhausted and despondent, He is our refuge.

Listen for His voice. Take one more step, straight into Him arms.


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