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From The Chaplain's Desk
From The Chaplain's Desk: Persevere

By Charles Dimmick, CT State Grange Chaplain

  January 7, 2017 --


“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” Galatians 6:9

Strangely enough, the word “persevere” does not appear anywhere in the King James Version of the Bible, although “perseverance” shows up once in Ephesians. And the concept of perseverance shows up often, as in the quotation which heads this column. Also the related words steadfast, steadfastly, and steadfastness appear 23 times. For when we read in the 2nd chapter of Acts that the new disciples “continued steadfastly in the Apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and in prayers” could we not easily restate this as saying they persevered in all these? Furthermore, many other translations of the Bible use perseverance where the King James uses patience or steadfastness. To many of us the most familiar such passage is Hebrews 12, where we are told [NIV]:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.“

In this analogy of running “the race marked out for us”, it should be clear that this race is a marathon, not a sprint, thus the need for perseverance. We need to continually re-examine and strengthen our faith throughout life, not neglecting along the way to continue to do good works, and “perfect” our lives in both faith and deeds.

This column will appear at the beginning of a New Year, a time when we are accustomed to make New Year’s resolutions. One resolution to consider is to remain steadfast in our faith and to strive continually to overcome those difficulties which interfere with doing what good works we are called to do. Or to use the words found in the Fourth Degree of the Grange: as laborers let us be diligent, persevering in our researches for truth and in the faithful discharge of the various duties that devolve upon us.


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