1 John 2:26-29
I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.
And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.
If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.
Sometimes, the best we can do is just keep going. Years ago, I went on a camping trip with some friends, and we went on a hike that turned out to be much, much longer than I had anticipated. After a few hours of walking, we still hadn’t reached the end of the trail, which meant with the return trip we still weren’t even half way through the hike. We just kept walking. On and on we went, until finally we reached the summit and turned around. It was a long, hard day, but it was also rewarding and memorable. Sometimes, we just need to keep going.
We are encouraged in this passage to “continue in him.” Keep walking with Jesus. Keep following him. Keep trusting in God. Along the journey of life, we know there will be obstacles and wrong turns. We will be tempted to turn aside or to take an ill-advised shortcut. We may face moments of fear and doubt. Life is not all happy new beginnings and mountain-top celebrations. There are a lot of hard days and much weariness along the way. That’s when we need to just keep going, to continue in our faith and devotion to Jesus. Friends and fellow believers make the journey easier, as do prayer and the comforting presence of the Holy Spirit. God’s word keeps us on the right path and gives us much needed refreshment.
Perseverance is a spiritual virtue we all need to work at. To continue in Jesus, to keep walking in our faith, we need a combination of wisdom, courage, grit and the prayerful encouragement of fellow believers. These sources of strength lift us up when we feel weak. In the same way, you can be an encouragement to others. You can come alongside someone who is struggling with anxiety or facing a challenging situation, and your faith can give them strength to keep going. May God give us perseverance to continue in him and compassion to help others keep walking in faith.
Father, give me strength and determination to keep moving forward in my faith. Lift me up when I fall down, and fill me with Your Spirit when I feel lost. Use me to encourage others to persevere in their walk with Jesus, through whom I pray. Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian