Before we speak about perseverance let me first introduce you to HOPE Academy’s new Worship Coordinator, Hope Oliphant.
Hope has been feature on the blog before in our Faithful Friday section. She is a HOPE mom who has previously served as a youth minister for over 10 years. Each unit HOPE families study a virtue for life application that relates to their studies.
This unit, the virtue we will be focusing on is perseverance, Hope Oliphant begins our discussion with these words:
Perseverance a big word with a strong meaning. It is defined as: “Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success”.
As I pondered what perseverance may look like for families of HOPE Academy my eyes were immediately drawn to the word success in the latter part of the definition. For what are we pursuing, for what are we sacrificing, for what are we enduring struggles to gain?
I realized the answer lies in the simple question of what success is?
Is it that we make good grades, that we achieve certain honors, that our income increases or that we collect more material things? Success to the world would see these things as victories for sure, but what does the Word of God say is truth about success?
While all these things are good and have value we must ask ourselves what is it that gives eternal value?
Real success is living in faith as those before us did. It should affect all of our decisions, our actions and our relationships. Living by faith fosters eternal success rather than the success defined by the world which is temporary.
Hebrews is our starting place in this new year to describe what success is for us as believers. (Returning families may remember this as HOPE Academy’s verse for the 2014-2015 school year.)
Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Let us run the race (of life) that is laid out before us, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us …throwing off baggage and fixing our eyes upon Jesus.”
Who is this “great cloud of witnesses” and what do witnesses do? The witnesses are actually those that testify to what God has done in their life by their faithful obedience.
As we enter into 2016 it’s a great time to gather your family in faithful obedience and figure out what a successful year might look like in your home?
With the beginning of this new year I encourage you do a simple activity that will engage and direct your family. Take time to list and write down the things you as a family want more of this year. Allow each person in your family to place as many ideas or sticky notes as they like on the list. Place the list in a high traffic area in your home as a visible reminder. Use these ideas to guide your year and your prayer time as a family. I imagine the things your children will share will be far more about living out faith that temporary happiness.
In this quarter we will discuss all the ways we can persevere in faith. Specifically in this first week we will discuss how if we play a game and win, but we treat others poorly is that success? If we make a good grade, but don’t follow the rules of the assignment, is that truly success? We will define what is success in Christ and how do we pursue this?
Praying for a great year of perseverance for those things that are eternal!