My book, ‘Dance is Prayer in Motion: Soul to Sole Choreography for Christian Dance Ministry’, has been published. Inside my heart, the end result has given me a real sense of listening to one of God’s intended purposes for me. I am not an accomplished writer but I wrote. I’m not an accomplished editor but I edited. I’m not an accomplished photographer but I took pictures. I’m not a world-famous choreographer but I listened to the leading of the Holy Spirit, as he showed me, over many years, how to develop the dance ministry at Trinity Church. Of course, many things happened along the way to prevent me from continuing the journey: family health issues, work challenges, church challenges, and then 74 permissions…..permissions alone took over 2 years to complete. It was all about perseverance as I trusted God in the process.
Scripture has a lot to say about perseverance and it’s a good thing. Without perseverance, I wonder about the outcome of much of my life. For instance, I have learned that difficulties are not necessarily bad. God grows dancers, choreographers and Christians when they look to him through life’s challenges. The takeaway: Trusting God not only for an outcome but through an outcome.
In Colossians 1:11, Paul wrote, “[We pray] that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy” (AMP).
Nelson’s bible dictionary further explains the meaning of perseverance:
The steadfast effort to follow God’s commands and to do His work. The New Testament makes it clear that faith alone can save. But it makes it equally clear that perseverance in doing good works is the greatest indication that an individual’s faith is genuine (James 2:14-26). Indeed, perseverance springs from a faithful trust that God has been steadfast toward His people. Through persevering in God’s work, the Christian proves his deep appreciation for God’s saving grace (1 Cor 15:57-58).
As a result of perseverance, the Christian can expect not only to enhance the strength of the church, but also to build up the strength of his own character (Rom 5:3-4). In short, he can expect to become closer to God. He learns that he can persevere primarily because God is intimately related to him (Rom 8:25-27) and especially because he has the assurance of a final reward in heaven (1 John 5:13).
(from Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (c)1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
I know that it is important to persevere but when I have persevered for a long time and nothing changes, there have been times when I have felt like giving up(aren’t you glad that you don’t have to feel like persevering to persevere?). And then I remember–God is a master at working behind the scenes where I don’t see Him at work. Often, suddenly, things change……and I can trust His timing in all of what occurs.
So what are some practical tips for help with perseverance?
1. Attitude. Joyce Meyer says that “God doesn’t reward a negative attitude or self-pity or an ‘everybody owes me’ attitude. Nor does He work through laziness or passivity. God works through faith, but we need to have faith before we can even have hope.” I would add the word obedience to that quote.
2. Joy. Choose it. Joy is a weapon that supplies the ability to not only endure difficulties, but to enjoy life in the midst of them.
So join me. And write a book. Or speak out to protect children in dance. Or any other thing that God leads you to do. Let’s persevere with Jesus and trust Him no matter the circumstances that we face in life.
And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Oh, and by the way, I hope that you enjoy reading ‘Dance is Prayer in Motion: Soul to Sole Choreography for Christian Dance Ministry’! Do email me back and let me know what you think of it:)