Look to the example of others

We’ve been talking about perseverance. 

In the Bible, James gave some very down-to-earth counsel to those enduring hardship:

“Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered” (James 5:10-11).

He tells them to look to other faithful people—in this case, the prophets—for inspiration and motivation.

If we look to history, there are many examples. Joni Eareckson Tada became a quadriplegic at a young age. She has persevered and been an inspiration to millions.

Xy Younghair was working to make house churches legal in communist China. As a result, he was imprisoned for two years. He lived in squalor in an eight by eight cell. He even had to share it with others from time to time who were awaiting execution. He survived, he says, through prayer, thinking about God, and planning a book that would eventually be called ‘God the Creator.’

These are big examples. But I encourage you to think of examples from your own life. Think of faithful people you’ve known who have persevered. Maybe it’s a family member, a youth leader, a Sunday School teacher, or a friend you’ve known for years and have trusted.

Look to them and be inspired and motivated. Real people remind us that it’s really possible!

When you see how God’s people have persevered in the past, you start to see how God’s people can persevere in the present—including you.

By Matthew Ruttan

–For those of you who don’t yet have a church home, this Sunday at Westminster (Nov. 29, 2020) we begin Advent with the candle of hope. The service is here at 10:01am EST. I’ll be sharing Part 9 of the Down-to-Earth series on the book of James: Living like believers.

–“Up!” is published 5 days a week (Monday-Friday) and returns on November 30.

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