Every person on this earth has their own individual set of struggles. We all come across hardships, but what is it that pushes us through to the other end? There is no doubt that perseverance is a must if we are to make it past our trials. 

However, as Christians, we have something that other people don't. We have endless hope and joy in our Lord. We know that He is the truth and that He will reign victorious at the end of time. So what exactly is this Christian perseverance, and what is so special about it?

Work Overload

If you're anything like me, you'll find that there's always that something that needs to get done. Whether it's studying for that major exam or keeping up with co-curricular activities. God has given us all responsibilities that get bigger and bigger as we grow older. We have our roles as students, friends, sons, daughters, sisters and brothers. In all of these roles, we must do our best that others may see God through us.

These responsibilities can easily make us feel tired. They can even push us to be unmotivated because of how much work we have. Learning how to juggle everything can be quite a challenge. 

At times it can be so hard to keep going, and the temptation to give up can be so strong, but we must remember that this is what God has planned for us. Galatians 6:5 reads, "For each will have to bear his own load". However, as Paul writes this letter to the church of Galatia, he also tells us about how we have each other to help carry our loads (see Galatians 6:1-5). We are to "bear another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ". 

Not the Way Out

We aren't the only ones trying to stay above all our work and getting over the stress we feel. And so I encourage us all; don't give up because God has given us these tasks to train us for our lives as adults and as the future of the church. Especially at school, we see many of our friends that may have quit things they just don't like, and because of that, they have it much easier than us. But as much as it seems, quitting is not the answer. 

As odd as it may sound, we are incredibly blessed to have a pile of work. We have been given the precious opportunity to go to school and have an education. Something so mundane to us is someone's dream on the other side of the planet. Yes, it can be hard, but we can't give up. Not everyone receives the opportunity to go to school and do co-curricular activities. We must then keep pushing onwards and do our best in these things for God's glory. 

It can seem challenging, but as said in Phillipians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". You can do all things, face the workload, through Christ, who is the source of your strength. 

Perseverance of True Christians

Our motives drive our perseverance, and what we strive for will affect how long we continue to work for it. If we work for something temporary, our hard work will also be so. It is sure that we will not gain a complete and everlasting pure motivation for God and God's glory only. With our sin infected hearts, we will have motives that are constantly straying from the right path. 

Colossians 3:23 reminds us, "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men". And we must do so, always asking God to give us a more concentrated motivation for Him. We shouldn't be striving to keep our teachers satisfied or to please parents or ourselves. Instead, when we have our spiritual eyes fixated on God's glory, we will find that we can persevere through so much more. 

As I mentioned earlier, we have a sure and everlasting hope in God. If we have experienced His unconditional love and have seen even a glimpse of His holiness, we will have a driving motor that pushes us to work for His glory. This special perseverance is to willingly and joyfully accept where we are and what we have. It is to recognize that above all our tasks, the truth is that God is sovereign. 

Whatever our struggles may be, always remember that God knows, and He has His great plan that we don't understand. These hardships are part of His plan for us, and because of that, we must keep going and pushing onwards. As 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it”. God knows our limits, and when we surrender all our struggles and depend on Him, He will guide us through moment by moment. He will not forsake us. 

Looking Back and Moving Forwards

Slowly and steadily, when we walk with God step by step, we will not only be able to persevere through each challenge, but we will also be able to look back and see God's guidance. When we meditate on what God has done and how He has led us through each day, we can see how He carefully planned every moment. When we reflect back, it also adds to our motivation and encourages us to continue living through our days with God leading us. 

Our time is not to be wasted. Too often, I have wasted hours watching pointless videos or scrolling endlessly on social media, as I'm sure so many of us have. However, it is the moment when we stop procrastinating where we can properly use our time. It's in the daily self-denial and the small but constant decision to work where we can begin to bear our cross and strive for things of eternity. 

Keep pushing on, and use the limited time we have wisely. What will we answer God when He asks us what we did with the precious opportunities He has given us? Will we admit that we just 'gave up', or will we be able to say that we worked hard and used all we were given?

"Squeeze your life, squeeze your time, challenge your limits for the glory of God."

Rev. Stephen Tong