Perseverance, Condensed from Three Steps Forward
, Two Steps Back by Charles Swindoll, 1980
Flaw 4: Being exposed to sound Bible teaching automatically solves problems. Bible instruction alone will not result in instant solutions to problems. No matter how reliable the teaching or how gifted the teacher, the declaration of truth does not provide the removal of difficulties.
Think of the Scriptures as an absolutely accurate map. A map tells you how to get to a certain destination. But just looking at a map won't automatically transport you to Arizona or England or Peru. Getting to those places means you have to make the effort
pay the cost
take the time for travel
stay at it until you arrive. In a word, persevere.
So it is in the Christian life. God's map is reliable and available. It is also clear and direct. But there is no hocus-pocus in its pages that automatically sends its reader by way of a magic carpet. Please don't misunderstand. I love God's Word! I am more convinced than ever in my life that its trustworthy truths are of inestimable value. But although the Bible may be a trustworthy book, it is certainly no magic potion that you rub on yourself three times a day to chase the devil away. Nor is it something you take internally with a pious promise to God, hoping that the next morning you will suddenly know and experience all its truths.
There is no such "instant maturity" available on this earth. God does not offer a formula that produces fully mature Christians overnight. Christian growth comes through hard-core, gutsy perseverance (a forgotten word!) of applying what you hear and obeying it
and thereby learning how to handle those inevitable problems.