The Bible gives us a clear choice between two life directions. Because life often forks off in two directions, you must take the higher road, even though it looks more difficult and treacherous. That road gets steep in places. The climb takes a toll on your energy. It gets lonely. Not many people on it, but more than you imagined, and some because of your example. It gets slippery. Satan blows ice on the narrow passage. Despite its dangers, the higher road is bound for the peak, and you’ll make it – God has a lifeline around you.
This is prison in a nutshell. Two choices: to follow 90% of the inmate population, continuing to do wrong and making bad choices even in prison and fleeing from God, or to get God’s Word out to the 90% of the inmates, although knowing it will be hard, tiring and dangerous.
Perseverance is defined as patient endurance of hardship; persisting in a state or enterprise in spite of difficulties and discouragement.
God never said that getting His Word out would be easy. In fact, in prison, everyone knows everything already, or so they think. On a scale of of 1-10 on how stubborn the average inmate is, it’s an 11. I must say that I have lived a very sheltered life. I was surrounded by many loving and caring Christian family and friends my entire life. I have never been around difficult and scary situations. But living now in a federal prison, when hate, lies, and deceitfulness are around me every day, opens my eyes to the real life dangers of this world. But that cannot and should not stop anyone from sharing God’s Word. Yes, there will be suffering, and yes, there will be rejection. In the Bible, Paul tells us that in the future we will become all that God would have us be, but until then we must overcome. This means we will experience difficulties that help us grow. Romans 5:3-4 says, “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character, and character hope.” We rejoice in suffering not because we like pain or deny its tragedy, but because we know that God is using life’s difficulties and Satan’s attacks to build our character. The problems we run into while sharing God’s love will develop our perseverance, which in turn will strengthen our character, deepen our trust in God, and give us greater confidence about the future.
God is your lifeline. When pressured to give up, remember the benefits of standing firm and continue to live for Christ. Perseverance is not a way to be saved but the evidence that you are really committed to Jesus. Keep focused on what He has done for you and what He offers in the future. Then keep climbing!