“By Your Perseverance” By Q Furnald, Fiat Ventures

Flickr User Neil

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Fall is a beautiful time of year. All those leaves. Red. Yellow. Orange. Brown. A few weeks ago I’d look out my window to see a glorious view.  Now I look out the window and it’s as though the trees are saying, “Yeah about that…also look on the ground; now you have to clean all of those up.”  So out come the rakes and leaf blowers.  It’s the same every year.

There’s one particular oak tree next to my house that seems to be taunting me.  It still has plenty of leaves left, and every time I’m done raking, I look up and think about all those leaves that have yet to fall, and all the work still ahead.  I guess with some perseverance, I’ll finally get all those leaves taken care of before it snows.

Maybe the leaves are a dramatic example, but we all face times of hardship, times of trial, times of despair.  We all know what it feels like to be hurting, to feel persecuted, to feel doubt.  In these times, we all long for peace of heart and peace of mind.  But to reach that point of peace after pain we must first persevere.  Okay. So… What does it mean to persevere? 

Perseverance is more than just waiting it out, hoping for the better outcome or resolution to arrive.  Perseverance is the persistence in action, overcoming the difficulty, and achieving success on the other side.  However, this is sometimes easier said than done.

In today’s Gospel reading from Luke, we hear Jesus discussing the fall of Jerusalem and the persecution for those who believe in Jesus.  Luke presents persecution as an opportunity for the followers of Jesus, as “It will lead to your giving testimony” (Luke 21:13).  In that persecution, God’s wisdom and power will be shown in the example of those who follow Jesus.  Perseverance through persecution will lead to salvation. 

Even in times of trouble, even in times of pain, even in times of trial, we are called to lean on the one who saves, to trust in our Lord and our Savior that they will see us to a victory.  There is a wonderful song about this in fact, “See a Victory” by Elevation Worship, whose lyrics speak to this exact understanding, saying “I’m gonna see a Victory, for the battle belongs to You, Lord… Gonna worship my way through this battle.”

Trust.  Believe.  Persevere.  Know that the Lord our God, the mighty name of His Son, Jesus, and the bond we have to Him will prevail. 

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