- Chris Crosby
Eight ways to increase our effectiveness in Christ-Part Five
2 Peter 1:5-9 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
Let’s continue our look at 2 Peter 1:5-9. So far, we studied about how our faith in Jesus provides the foundation upon which we build everything else and added an understanding of what virtue, knowledge, and self-control mean. If you missed those lessons, you can read them here: faith, virtue, knowledge, and self-control.
The next quality we should add is steadfastness. Often this word is translated patience or endurance and something most people struggle with. A deeper understanding of this quality will help us in developing it to a greater degree in our lives.
Strong’s Concordance describes this word as 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. During New Testament times, the Greek word was used to picture a soldier ordered to stand their ground and defend what had been gained or to stay at their post.
In Sparkling Gems from the Greek, Volume I, Rick Renner gives this interpretive version, “…the kind of attitude that hangs in there, never giving up, refusing to surrender to obstacles and turning down every opportunity to quit.” These definitions help us understand what God asks of us and clearly defines steadfastness or patience.
What does this look like in our daily lives? It means not giving up as we pray for loved ones to come to Christ, even if we have been praying for them for years. It requires us to hold fast to the teaching of God’s Word, even when society around us ridicules and derides us for believing the Bible. Patience believes God will make a way where there seems no way in fulfilling the dream He planted in our heart. Endurance keeps showing up for an assignment even when we don’t see any progress toward the goal.
Regardless of what we may be going through, it is important to have the never give up, refuse to surrender, loyal to the faith attitude. I’m challenged by these definitions and plan to post them where I can be reminded of them daily. We all face struggles, and this reminder of a quality that honors God is worth demonstrating. Perhaps it will provide the very testimony someone needs to see to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus. Let’s turn down every opportunity to quit!
Next week we will study the sixth quality that supplements our faith – godliness. I hope you will join me.