More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Former major champion and number one player in the world David Duval had a nightmare first round at The Open Championship. Golf can and is often a mentally debilitating sport. Just like life, sooner or later it is going to get the best of us. Duval posted a round of 91 Thursday. The biggest blow was on hole number seven where there was confusion over a lost ball and which provisional ball was in play. To make matters worse, he hit the wrong ball at one point during the hole and carded a 14. Many if not most amateurs or touring professionals would have either withdrawn from the tournament at the turn or after the completion of the round. However, Duval earned much respect by posting the 91 and showing up to play Friday’s second round. Duval was quoted after the round Thursday to say, “You have an obligation as a professional athlete. If you play, you post your score. Am I happy about that? Is there some embarrassment to it? I don’t know. But I teed off in the Open and I shot 90 today. So put it on the board.”
Believers have an ultimate desire to persevere unto final salvation. Life will be rough and will come with its fair share of 91’s. In Luke 9:62, Jesus declared, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” As comfort, we are bestowed a double promise from our Lord. In Jeremiah 32:40, our perseverance is guaranteed as it was written, “I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me.” We as believers are indwelled with the Holy Spirit and the desire to outlast any trial or tribulation. Consider Paul’s writing in Romans 5:10 when he reasoned, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” Therefore, we are again comforted by the fact if He saved us while we were yet His enemy, why would we be forsaken now that we are one of His own? The purpose of salvation was both of the sanctification and preservation of the believer. Thus, the whole design of our Lord was for the believer to persevere. What great comfort our Lord has provided for His own!?