The fruit of perseverance
By Max Sahl | Wycliffe Today June 2020 |
When I think of the phrase ‘fruit of perseverance’ it is easy to remember translators like Warren and Jessie and others who have served in the work of Bible translation in multiple countries for over 50 years.
But what do you say to a group of young people who are just taking their first steps on the journey of Bible translation? This was the question on my mind as I prepared to speak to a gathering of young translators in South Asia recently. Just to get to their training, many of the students had already given up so much. One student had missed the birth of his first child, and another had cut short his honeymoon. All of them had left families and responsibilities and forsaken other opportunities to be there.
To encourage them in their ministry, I shared two stories about Jesus and perseverance from the Gospels. Firstly, in Matthew 4:8-10, the devil takes Jesus to a very high mountain and offers him all the kingdoms of the world. Yet Jesus understands that his earthly mission is to ‘worship the Lord your God and serve him only’. Perseverance means understanding your mission and not getting distracted.
Secondly, in Mark 10:29-30, Jesus explains to his disciples that the fruit of perseverance is worth it. For the students in South Asia, Jesus had a special message, ‘No one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age’. Eternal life awaits them in the age to come but the road will not be easy.
Let us also run the race with perseverance, throwing off distractions and fixing our eyes on Jesus and our eternal reward.