Perseverance is a word that is at the forefront of those who are followers of Jesus. Throughout the Bible, there are stories of those who had to deal with hard times and had to persevere. As followers of Jesus, we are called to persevere in our journey of faith. It is understood that this life will be hard. The apostle Paul used the analogy of boxing or fighting in several of his letters (1 Corinthians 9, 2 Timothy 4). It was a good metaphor then and still is today.
One of my favorite film series are the Rocky movies. I grew up watching them over and over again (except for Rocky V….which in my opinion belongs with those movies that do not exist). When Rocky Balboa came out in 2006, I saw it in the theaters while I was living in Seattle. The movie really struck a cord with me. I’ve rewatched it several times, especially when I’m going through a tough time.
One scene in that film that is very poignant is the scene with Rocky and his son talking outside. Here’s the scene:
The key line from that scene is this: “But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward.” That is perseverance. We will get knocked down in this life. We will get beat down. That is a given. Sometimes we get knocked down so hard it rocks our world. It is no fun at all to go through those times. I can speak from experience (and recent experience at that) that it is no fun. But as a follower of Jesus, I am called to persevere. I’m to keep moving forward. I know that I cannot do this alone. Each time I’m knocked down by life, Jesus is right there to get me back on my feet and moving forward again. That’s perseverance.