Lesson 2 – II Thessalonians
How many synonyms can you recall for the word “perseverance”? Perhaps the words persistence or tenacity come to your mind. How about the idea of indefatigability or stick-to-itiveness? The dictionary defines this quality of character as “the ability to hold to a course of action, belief, or purpose without giving way; steadfastness even in the face of obstacles or discouragement.” It has been said that “a river cuts through rocks not because of its power, but its persistence.”
The truth is that the Bible can actually help you and me to gain perspective on the value of being able to hold on, stand firm, and endure. In fact, when Paul wrote to his friends in Thessalonica who were facing enormous persecution as well as some erroneous thinking, one of his major themes was to “persevere”. He knew that on their own they would not be able to do that successfully, but that God would “give them the power to accomplish all the good things that their faith prompted them to do” – II Thessalonians 1: 11. He knew that as they prayed, and as he prayed for them, that God would be faithful to strengthen them and guard them. He understood that acknowledging their total dependence on the Lord would make all the difference.
As one preacher pointed out, “The value of consistent prayer is not that He will hear us, but that we will hear Him.” Isn’t it amazing that the Most High God has willingly and eagerly invited us to bring not only our praise and thanksgiving to Him, but to talk with Him about our needs and our problems, our desires and our inadequacies so that He can reassure us of His tender mercy and unfailing love? And more than that, we can make a difference in the lives of others by praying for them with perseverance!