Photo by yang miao on Unsplash

Dear Crowned Royals, I bring you all the missed-year greetings from 2022 and share the joy of the new year with you! It has been a while since I last shared on here and I think now may be a good time for me to come out of hiding. We still have some work to do and I do hope God has been helping us through it all.

It is a start of a new year and we are all hoping for a great year, you know a year without the trials and tribulations. No one at the start of a new year wants to hear the word perseverance, because this word is associated with difficulty and by definition requires too much from us. I do hope that with this post you may look at perseverance a little differently and see the hope we build through it.

Why do we need to persevere?

Let me start off with a practical example that explains the need for us to persevere. A young man just graduated college and after several tries managed to score a final interview with his dream job. All he needs to do is drive downtown to seal the deal. He plans to get there on time and ensures his car has enough gas to get him there. He heads out to the city and traffic is flowing, he even may have some spare time to freshen up before his interview. Nothing should go wrong at this point, but then several cars ahead of him, an accident occurs and this slows traffic. What was supposed to be an easy drive to an interview becomes a difficult one as the young man tries to move around the traffic so he can make it to his job interview. All his efforts seem impossible and the spare time to possibly freshen up becomes less and less. To make things worse his phone battery power left won’t allow him to make a call to explain his delay. This interruption could cost him losing a position he has been hoping for, does he stay in the traffic until he makes it to the interview or turns back and drives back home because all hope is lost? Many of you I want to assume would say he stays the traffic until he makes it right? I agree, he keeps going knowing that not all hope is lost and that with this seemingly difficult new start, there is a possible stronger finish.

We need perseverance because with it we make it through any and many of life’s difficult interruptions. Perseverance is the longevity of our hope that allows us to keep going even when situations seem impossible. God calls us to do so knowing that through perseverance, he has the opportunity to bless us and build our character. After one has experienced difficult circumstances and through it all continues to steadfastly persevere, one gains incredible strength to face life’s challenges as they come. The need to preserve typically starts when our life seemingly perfect life is interrupted and easily affects our wellness be it physical, emotional, or spiritual. It could be that you may have lost a loved one, missed a job opportunity, or received a bad doctor’s report and the list goes on. There are so many challenges in life that temporary hope cannot keep us going even if we tried. We then look to perseverance knowing that as we hold on to it all, we get to stay strong and most importantly finish strong despite the difficult life circumstances.

New starts and stronger finishes

There is this famous quote we come across online often or have heard others that says that “it is not how you start that is important, but how you finish.” Starting can be hard, and holding on to hope at the initial start of a life challenge can even be harder. Look at this new, not-so-pleasant start for you as a way to stand the test of time and come out stronger. Making the choice to persevere even at what seems like defeat allows us to pick ourselves back up again and again with every other life challenge we are dealt with. Call it a ripple effect, but once a person perseveres through a couple of life lows, it builds them for the next. Obviously, at the start of it, one does not recognize the strength they continue to build as they keep choosing to keep going despite it all. There are quite a few more other great things we gain as we continue to persevere, but one thing I would like to mention is how we grow in patience. It is a great fruit of the spirit after all and makes a seemingly difficult or delayed situation so much better. With patience and perseverance, you are well on your way to a stronger finish. Don’t give up just yet because a stronger finish is why you have held on so long. Some of you have been persevering for a while now, but hold on. What does a strong finish look like? Well, it looks like you coming out on the other side still trusting, still hoping, and still believing that this life challenge will change. Despite the many setbacks, obstacles, hurts, frustrations, and delays, you will be able to see a turnaround of things because you choose to persevere. And because you have chosen to do so, God has this promise for you;

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12 NIV

Please find comfort in knowing that your efforts to persevere are blessed by God. He knows that it is never an easy start, but just like you he hopes for a stronger finish. He wants the opportunity to bless you because you stood the test. One story that came to mind of God’s blessing to those that persevere is the story of Job. Wow! Job had some serious seemingly impossible life challenges, but through it all, he kept his hope and persevered through every test. He was greatly blessed by God, all he lost was doubled, and now that is a strong finish. While you think about your own life challenges, take some time to read or reflect on Job’s perseverance experience and see if there are things you can adapt for your own experience.

Stay encouraged! There is a stronger finish that awaits you, do not be discouraged by the start of it at all. Perseverance is the longevity of our hope and it is something you can do. I pray God helps you through it all so that you too can be blessed by him. It is time for you to take your rightful place, it is time for you to trade thorns for crowns.

Much love,

Xholiwe

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