Perseverance and discipline have been on my mind the past few months. It’s easy to do something a few times. It’s a lot harder to maintain consistency. My weakness is never starting something new. My trouble is finishing what I start. Discipline and perseverance are a huge part of that. My prayer has been, “Lord, please help me to love discipline.” Because the Bible even says, “He disciplines those He loves.” ( Heb. 12:6).
I heard a message by Elisabeth Elliot in which she said, “If I didn’t practice discipline, I wouldn’t get much praying done.”
While on my journey to be more disciplined I came across these verses:
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness.
2 Peter 1:5-6
I decided to delve into these verses a bit more. I looked up the characteristics in Greek. This is what I learned.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness [virtuous thought, modesty, purity, moral excellence];
and to goodness, knowledge [general knowledge, understanding];
and to knowledge, self-control [the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, esp. his sensual appetites];
and to self-control, perseverance [steadfastness, constancy, endurance, in the NT the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings ; patiently, and steadfastly
a patient, steadfast waiting for; a patient enduring, sustaining, perseverance];
and to perseverance, godliness [reverence, respect piety — FERVER, OBEDIENCE, DEVOTION— towards God, godliness];
Is it me or do these things get harder to do?
Each characteristic seems to be the foundation for the next characteristic. It reminds me of Romans 1:17:
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
Each characteristic is a step of faith. Seeking goodness in a world that feels so dark and evil takes faith.
Searching for the knowledge of God in a world that wants nothing to do with Him takes faith.
Self-Control in a world where everyone self indulges takes faith.
Perseverance regardless of the results takes faith.
Godliness in what often feels like a godless culture takes faith.
So, if you find yourself with growing pains, take heart. We might just be going from faith to faith. It reminds me of the song that says:
“We will go from faith to faith until we see you face to face”
If you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. Colossians 1:23