Am I simply enduring or am I persevering? Enduring is tolerating the pain or situation. Perseverance is endurance combined with the absolute certainty that God will come through. It means to continue in spite of difficulty and lack of success.
Endurance is accepting a situation, whereas perseverance carries the idea of action. It involves endurance but is much more intentional and less “white knuckled”.
Chambers writes of perseverance:
“Perseverance means more than just hanging on, which may be only exposing our fear of letting go and falling. Perseverance is our supreme effort of refusing to believe that our hero is going to be conquered. Our greatest fear is not that we will be damned, but that somehow Jesus Christ will be defeated. Also, our fear is that the very things our Lord stood for— love, justice, forgiveness, and kindness among men— will not win out in the end and will represent an unattainable goal for us. Then there is the call to spiritual perseverance. A call not to hang on and do nothing, but to work deliberately, knowing with certainty that God will never be defeated.”
Is that true of me? Do I fear that Christ will be defeated in my life?
Strong’s concordance defines perseverance this way:
- steadfastness, constancy, endurance
- the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings
- a patient, steadfast waiting for
- a patient enduring, sustaining, perseverance
Perseverance allows us to continue despite difficulty and lack of success. It means that while we will encounter failure we will not give up. Perseverance is a valuable characteristic yet must be cultivated.
It trains us to not simply endure but to continue our journey without giving up. The key difference between endurance and perseverance is that while endurance carries the idea that we tolerate life’s tough times, perseverance suggests a sustaining quality that enables us to remain steadfast, have constancy and ultimately succeed.