March 2024 Column

Cultivating Perseverance

Rooted in His Love

Perseverance. That unwavering determination to press on despite obstacles, setbacks, and internal resistance. It’s a quality we all admire, yet one that often feels elusive in our own lives. But what if cultivating perseverance wasn’t just about gritting our teeth and white-knuckling our way through hardship? What if it held a deeper secret, rooted in the transformation of our minds and hearts, as guided by Scripture?

Enter Romans 12:2, a verse overflowing with potential for those seeking to cultivate steadfastness:

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

This verse unveils a crucial connection between transformation and perseverance. The world, with its alluring promises and instant gratification, beckons us to conform. However, true perseverance requires breaking free from these fleeting patterns and aligning ourselves with the enduring will of God.

But how do we achieve this transformative re-alignment? The verse emphasizes the renewal of the mind. This isn’t about mere willpower or self-improvement techniques. It’s about engaging in a deep, continuous process of saturating our minds with God’s truth as revealed in Scripture. By studying, meditating, and internalizing His Word, we begin to see the world and ourselves through a new lens, one shaped by divine wisdom and purpose.

This renewed perspective fuels our perseverance in several ways:

1. It clarifies our purpose:

In the cacophony of worldly voices, it’s easy to lose sight of our God-given calling. Yet, when our minds are renewed, we gain a clearer understanding of who we are in Christ and the unique contribution we can make to His kingdom. This clarity becomes an anchor, steadying us amidst challenges and reminding us why we persevere.

2. It fosters resilience:

Life throws curveballs. When setbacks hit, a renewed mind clings to the truth of God’s faithfulness and love. We remember that trials, though difficult, are not meaningless. They can even become opportunities for growth and deeper reliance on Him. This resilience allows us to bounce back stronger, our perseverance fueled by trust in God’s bigger plan.

3. It shifts our focus:

The world often emphasizes self-preservation and individual achievement. But a renewed mind prioritizes God’s glory and the good of others. We learn to view challenges not as personal hurdles, but as opportunities to serve, love, and persevere for a greater cause. This outward focus expands our perspective and offers renewed strength when facing personal struggles.

4. It cultivates gratitude:

A grateful heart recognizes the blessings, big and small, that God showers upon us daily. This fosters an attitude of contentment, preventing us from dwelling on what we lack or the challenges we face. Instead, we learn to persevere with a spirit of thankfulness, acknowledging God’s presence and provision even in difficult times.

5. It strengthens our community:

We were not meant to walk this journey alone. A renewed mind recognizes the importance of Christian fellowship and support. By connecting with other believers, sharing burdens, and drawing strength from their prayers and encouragement, we cultivate a network of perseverance that sustains us through trials.

Cultivating perseverance, then, becomes a journey of transformation, fueled by the renewing power of God’s Word. It’s not just about enduring difficulty, but about growing through it, emerging stronger, more resilient, and more aligned with God’s will.

Questions for Discussion

When you encounter negative thoughts about yourself or your abilities, what practices help you challenge them most effectively? Share specific examples of affirmations, scriptures, or logical frameworks that have helped you shift your perspective.

In your experience, what role does community play in cultivating perseverance? How have positive influences (friends, mentors, spiritual leaders) supported your growth and helped you overcome challenges?

Beyond Romans 12:2, are there other inspirational verses or quotes that fuel your perseverance journey? Share the passages or quotes that resonate most deeply with you and explain how they motivate you to stay engaged with mind renewal.

 

Remember, cultivating perseverance is an ongoing journey, not a destination. With each step of transformation, we gain greater strength and clarity, enabling us to navigate life’s challenges with grace, resolve, and unwavering faith. May your journey be fueled by the transformative power of God’s Word, leading you to a life of steadfast perseverance, rooted in His love and purpose.

Contributors

Editor
Xiomara Perdomo

Xiomara Perdomo

Assistant to the President for Mission

Writer
Gabriel Saldaña

Gabriel Saldaña

Assistant to the President for Programming

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David Asscherick

David is a speaker/director for Light Bearers and ARISE co-founder and instructor. Since his baptism in 1999, David has traveled the globe preaching and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. He and his wife Violeta are the happy parents of two boys, Landon and Jabel.

Keynote Speaker

Benjamin Lundquist, host of Rise & Lead, will headline 2023 AYP Convention.

Benjamin Lundquist is a top motivational speaker and one the leading voices for leadership development and empowerment. He is passionate about helping students and professionals see their worth and value, see themselves as a leader, and see their potential to change the world. The message he shares is motivating, relatable, and highly practical. Audiences are challenged to take extreme ownership of the unique gifts and opportunities they have. He is an international speaker and host of Rise and Lead Podcast which has been downloaded in over 110 countries providing aspiring and experienced leaders of all ages with world-class content and conversation. He frequently speaks at corporate and faith events, universities, and high schools.

Identity in Christ | Breakout Track

April is currently an associate pastor for discipleship at Keene SDA church. She is enrolled in a dual graduate program for Public Health and MDIV chaplaincy. She enjoys working with different ministries that highlight service, hospitality, and life enrichment. 

Her hobbies include traveling, reading, music, and extreme sports. An introvert at heart, she enjoys moments with close friends and in the quiet. Her and her husband, Blake Snyder reside in Burleson, Texas.

Purpose & Calling | Breakout Track

Ann Roda likes to describe her life as one long adventure with God. She began her career as a registered nurse in OB then transitioned into healthcare administration. Then, God unexpectedly redirected her path to the Adventist Theological Seminary, for an MDiv, and into pastoral ministry. She spent 15 years as a church pastor in Marietta, Georgia and Fulton, Maryland. Six years ago, God had another adventure for Ann, and called her back into the health care ministry, serving with Adventist HealthCare as Vice President for Mission and Spiritual Care. 

This position is the perfect combination of both pastoral ministry and health care. Ann is married to Jose Hernandez, a licensed professional counselor. Ann and her husband enjoy hiking, biking, and traveling.

Relationships | Breakout Track

Stephen and Felecia Lee are partners in the mission. They share a mutual passion for young adult ministries and using their talents to share the Gospel online and through speaking engagements. Stephen helps individuals and businesses function more efficiently through time management and productivity techniques. Felecia is a full-time homemaker and also the founder of the New Wives Club. 

In addition to this, she runs a program teaching women of color how to learn principles of faith through natural hair care. They live in New Hampshire and speak in different places on topics related to singleness, courtship, communication, evangelism, and faith.

Spiritual Health | Breakout Track

Shawn is passionate about generations coming together! She grew up in a four-generation family business and knows, from first-hand experience, that when people of all ages work together, everyone wins!

She has a B.S. in marketing from the University of Nebraska and is an award-winning sales and marketing professional. Her professional certifications include being a member of the John Maxwell Team and DISC Behavioral Consultant. Recently she published her first book “Strategies for Generational Inclusion at Work.”

Communities | Breakout Track

Michael Gibson currently serves as the Lead Pastor at the Keene SDA Church where he most previously served for four years as Pastor for Young Adults and lead Elevate, a growing and thriving young adult community in Keene. Michael is married to Melissa and they both enjoy the outdoors, long walks, and traveling to new, unexplored places. 

Most days, when he’s not teaching, preaching or studying, you’ll find him playing disc golf or working on home renovations with Melissa. They recently welcomed their son, Micah Eden, into the world last October and ever since, life has taken on a whole new meaning. Above all, Michael and Melissa have a passion for discipleship and telling others about the incredible God they serve. For them, the gospel boils down to loving God and loving people.