Tag Archives: perseverance in the Christian life

One More Time

Edward Zwick’s The Last Samurai (2003) is not one of my favorite films. It’s not a bad movie per se – just not a great one. That said, it does have its moments and there are scenes from it which I can and do appreciate very much. The clip below is one of those scenes:

Famed author and poet Oliver Goldsmith once said, “Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall.”

I think that the above scene is a fair illustration of that.

Tom Cruise’s character, Nathan Algren, is beaten down multiple times – and he keeps getting up. Given the option of staying on the ground, he chooses to rise. One. More. Time. Ultimately, his opponent has to take the sword away from him altogether. And later on in the film, we see that Algren’s show of perseverance wasn’t for nought: it earns him the respect of those around him. Those who once held him in contempt.

It’s a lesson worth remembering – one which is, I think, all too frequently forgotten. Every worthwhile pursuit requires courage and perseverence on the part of the pursuer – the will to get up out of the mud and keep going no matter how much it hurts, no matter how many times you’ve been hit.

Christianity is no different.

Paul writes in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” He persevered, despite countless obstacles and tribulations, and what did he get for it? “… an exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” (2 Cor. 4:17)

Is not that a glorious recompense?

“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope.” (Rom. 5:3-4)

Like the Passing Cloud on the Summer’s Day

“Your sorrow shall be turned into joy!” John 16:20

“The sorrow of the Christian must be transient. It is like the passing cloud on the summer’s day; or the chill of winter which must give place to the genial warmth of spring.

“Beloved, if you now have sorrow – then your sorrow also shall soon be turned into joy; for joy is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.

“Heaviness may endure for the night – but joy comes in the morning.

“The sin that causes your sorrow – shall be pardoned and subdued.

“The foes that disturb your peace – shall be converted or destroyed.

“The clouds that obscure your sun – shall soon dissolve in showers of blessing on your favored head.

“The hard and weary road between you and your eternal home – will soon be passed! The days of your mourning will be ended, and those who now go forth weeping, bearing precious seed – shall soon return with songs of everlasting joy!”

~ James Smith, The Pastor’s Evening Visit

HT Grace Gems