BIBLE STORY: Josiah’s cleansing of Judah. (2 Kings 22 & 23)
BIBLE VERSE: “Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.” 1 Timothy 6:11b (NLT)
Why does a marathoner keep running? Why do some elite athletes have careers far longer than their contemporaries? One key difference is conditioning built by constant training. Elite level athletes train hard, often, and at a higher level of difficulty than others. This constant use and training pushes their bodies to be able to work longer, harder, and at performance levels beyond the average person. Perseverance does not happen by accident.
It happens by training. You have to work at it and it will never be easy. There is no list of “three easy ways to build perseverance.” There is not even one easy way. That is the point of perseverance; it is not easy. Ever.
King Josiah knew what was right. He knew what was best for him and for the nation and he refused to give up on it. He knew that God had called him to a life-long fight against the evil worship practices that had sprung up in Judah and he never backed down or gave up. Perseverance is difficult. If you are persevering, that means that the payoff is a long way off.
It is a lot easier to do hard work or endure difficult circumstances when you can see the reward on the other side of the routine. But just like the elite athletes training for a game, we need to make perseverance a lifestyle. If an athlete trains only during the season, he or she will suffer the consequences in injuries, reduced performance, and a shorter career. We need to remember that we are called to do the right thing, not just for a season, but for a lifetime.