Friday, February 20, 2009

Perseverance

As we've gone through the verses in 1 Corinthians 13, I am reminded each day of another facet of love. Love always perseveres. I like to think of persevering as staying the course. No matter what happens, love doesn't give up. This means if someone disappoints us, we love them anyway. That's the way God is. We can read about God's love in Psalm 103:8. "The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love."

We should have perseverance in our earthly relationships. We have to work through the good times and the bad times when we love someone just as God does with us when he forgives us. Here are two verses from James that tell us a lot about perseverance.

James 1:12 says, "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him."

James 5:11 says, "As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy."

As I wrote this I was thinking mostly of our relationships with God and with the people we love, but I also want to give a little side note about perseverance. When I was assigned this topic, I thought about my writing career. I just want to say to anyone who has a dream that perseverance pays dividends. My dream was to be published. I wrote and sent in manuscripts for twenty years before I finally sold. I believe that God was teaching me perseverance and also teaching me to give my writing over to Him so that He could use it to glorify Him. I thank the Lord that I didn't give up that dream.

I want to close with two more verses from the Bible. They tell us about perseverance better than I ever could.

Hebrews 12:2-3 says, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Galatians 6:9 says, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

8 comments:

Margaret Daley said...

I wouldn't be published today without perserverance.
Thanks for the post, Merrillee.
Margaret

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Man....the OTHER "P" word....

Like Margaret, I thank God for giving me the perseverance needed to continue to submit after rejection after rejection after rejection..

Great post, Merrillee!
Cheryl

Jill Kemerer said...

Thank you--what a beautiful message. I particularly enjoyed the Bible passages. It's very heartening to know that not every author gets their first novel published! Or their fifth...

Thanks again for the mini-devotion and breath of fresh air.
Jill

Janet Tronstad said...

Amen to Margaret, Cheryl, and Merrilee -- I don't know of anyone who is published who didn't need to perserve. I tell my nieces and nephews that most things don't happen on the first try. Or the second. Or the third. Sometimes maybe on the fourth.

PS to Vince -- If you check in today, could you leave word. A woman from Harlequin marketing wants to know what our (Love Inspired) readers think about the books and you are so articulate. If you could go to eHarlequin under the Steeple Hill Christian Cafe section and leave a few words that would be great. Thanks.

Merrillee said...

Thanks, Margaret, Cheryl and Janet. We all know it takes perseverance to gain the good things in life.

Merrillee said...

Jill,
I'm glad you enjoyed the Bible verses. I found it interesting how many verses there were about perseverance in the Bible. I also like the picture the writer of Hebrews paints about the great cloud of witnesses that have gone before and are cheering us on as we make this journey on earth.

Missy Tippens said...

Thanks for a great post, Merrillee! I didn't know you had written for 20 years before publishing. I thought my 10 years was a long time! Of course, it did seem like eons to me. :)

Merrillee said...

Missy,
Yes, it took me 20 years. I sent my first manuscript to Harlequin in 1984. I sold my first book to Steeple Hill in 2004. But I know that God's timing is best. I sold at the right time for me.