Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
We’ve been talking a lot in our house about sports lately, particularly softball as Jada is playing this year. It’s made me think about my own days playing softball and how incredibly difficult it was when I first started. My very first game, all I wanted to do was impress the older players and do really well. Instead every time I was up to bat I struck out. I choked back tears as my teammates gave me disapproving glares and promised myself to never play again.
At times the temptation to quit can be overpowering. I think about all the times I’ve wanted to quit over the years, and all the times my kids want to quit now. It seems that it’s in our human nature to not be faithful. Things get tough, we get discouraged, the journey is too hard, and we want a way out.
God doesn’t call us to be quitters. He calls us to remain steadfast and not grow weary–and what’s more, he promises that by remaining faithful there will be a reward. Sometimes we get to see that reward quickly, and other times it may take years and years.
Are you growing weary of what God has called you to? If something is too much of a burden, our default tendency might be to think that it’s not what God has called us to do. Maybe we need to change our perspective, and continue to persevere through the hard times, to get to the fruit of our labor.
This weekend at a mother/daughter retreat I watched Jada get up in front of 100 people for a talent show, all alone, bright lights shining on her, and gracefully play a song on her violin. If I’m being honest, there were times during those first years, as she plucked out notes with her fingers, and her strings squeak throughout the house, when I wonder if she was wasting her time on the violin. Just a few years later, and she could confidently play an entire song.
It can be hard to see the reward in persevering in things like parenting, or marriage, or jobs, or ministry. But we can be confident of this: when we remain steadfast and do good, we will reap a reward in due season. Take note that James has called this a promise, that in the end, there is a crown of life waiting for those who have persevered.