The Bible tells us that life can come with trials and sometimes many trials. But those who persevered and learned from them, the Lord who is full of compassion, grants them a reward.
The Bible as well as history books are filled with men and women and children who were challenged yet who persevered. When I think of perseverance, one of the people I think of is a man named Abraham Lincoln – known as one of the greatest presidents in the United States.
Here is a sketch of Lincoln’s road to the White House:
1. 1816 His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them.
2. 1818 His mother died.
3. 1831 Failed in business
4. 1832 Ran for state legislature – lost.
5. 1832 Also lost his job – wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
6. 1833 Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
7. 1834 Ran for state legislature again –won.
8. 1835 Was engaged to be married, sweetheart died and his heart was broken.
9. 1836 Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.
10. 1838 Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
11. 1840 Sought to become elector – defeated.
12. 1843 Ran for Congress – lost.
13. 1846 Ran for Congress again – this time he won – went to Washington and did a good job.
14. 1848 Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
15. 1849 Sought the job of land officer in his home state – rejected.
16. 1854 Ran for Senate of the United States – lost.
17. 1856 Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention – got less than 100 votes.
18. 1858 Ran for U.S. Senate again – again he lost.
19. 1860 Elected President of the United States.
What will our road say about us? Let's continue to persevere through our trials knowing that God will use it for good in our life! With God's help, He will see us through to a glorious conclusion and with God's grace we will one day say what the Apostle Paul said, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have longed for His appearing." (2 Timothy 4:7-8)
FATHER, thank you for the many people in the Bible as well as in history who have been shining examples of perseverance, endurance and of never quitting the race marked out for them. Thank you Jesus for being the ultimate example when you endured the cross for us so that all of us could have the blessed assurance of eternity with you!Lord, when we fall, please give us the understanding that trials are not failures but rather opportunities to become a better steward for your purposes. In Jesus’ Name – Amen.