How to Persevere in Faith When You Feel Like Giving Up: 3 Helpful Tips

Most mornings I exercise on a path near my home and get to practice how to persevere when you feel like giving up!

Occasionally, as I head out the door, a neighbor waves and says, “headed for a run, good for you!”

It feels good to think people see me as a runner. I think runners look fit, accomplished, and cool.

There is just one problem. I am not even close to being a runner. I am a walker, a slow, methodical walker.

I have learned how to persevere and stay focused on my exercise goals, but I don’t run…ever!

As people pass me on the path, some younger and some older, I often wonder, “Why am I so slow?” Inching toward discouragement threatens my energy and persevering attitude.’

“Lap 4”, my neighbor proudly announces as she whizzes by holding up four proud fingers.

Four, I am still on one! It is easy to start slipping into competitive mode and think I am in a race and losing.

But I remind myself, that slow and steady is better than nothing at all. Don’t give up; just keep walking.

Learning how to persevere is an important state of mind in life and our faith.

lady on path-how to persevere

What is Perseverance

Perseverance is the steady persistence in a course of action or purpose, especially despite difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

Another phrase I like is ‘staying the course’ which originated in horse racing at the turn of the 20th century.

The definition of, ‘what is perseverance’ is “To  persevere  with  as  much  determination,  energy,  or  fortitude  as  one  can  until  the  end  of  a  race,  competition,  or  contest.”

The definition and origin of these terms trigger thoughts of racing and winning; a competition instead of steady persistence.

Sometimes it feels like everything is a competition even our faith. Comparison is a quick route to an exhausted spirit.

I often wonder, is learning how to persevere with steady persistence enough? Or do we want to win? and do any of us win or do we strive and exhaust ourselves?

How to Persevere without Competition

Ladies racing-how to persevereKeeping up with other people can become a huge distraction. Focusing on competing instead of reaching your goals, can cause you to lose your way and get off course.

I have been in exercise classes where we are told to modify the routine to our ability. But I can’t help feeling like a slacker next to the person jumping around smiling in full cuteness.

I also tend to feel better about myself if someone in the class looks less enthusiastic or coordinated than I do (which is not often!).

How about with our kids? Can we learn and teach them how to persevere without competition?

I ran into a friend recently and she told me her son was doing ‘phenomenal’! He was going to medical school to become a surgeon, had straight A’s, had an amazing girlfriend, was on the student ministry leadership team, and traveled to save children in an impoverished country. (I’m exaggerating a little but not much!)

In these situations, I imagine there are winners and losers. I walk in feeling adequate but leave feeling defeated. That is competing not persevering.

I used to be super competitive but have mellowed, not complacent, just more content and at peace with what I am supposed to be doing.

When tempted to feel defeated as I go around the track, I am learning how to persevere without competition by turning my focus on the race I am running and not anyone else’s.

“Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time.

Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life to God is vigorous and requires total attention.”

Matthew 7:13-14 MSG

How do You Persevere in Faith

Some of you may be reading this thinking, ‘I do win a lot’. I am a runner and have won marathons, my kids make straight A’s and were potty trained by 10 months!

We need leaders and winners, But…

  • I haven’t met one person who wins all of the time.
  • When we experience a lot of success, it is harder to realize we need Jesus.

How to persevere in faith has nothing to do with your current standings in life.

God loves each of us and has designed us just the way we are– slow, fast, tall, short, average student, or superstar.

In God’s world winning does not measure greatness. Love does.

How do you persevere in faith? Walk out your faith by staying on the path God has designed for you.

Living in a relationship with God and loving others out of the abundance of love you have received from Him.

In our relationship with God, there are No Winners and No Losers. We are all embraced equally.

Baggage claim-how to persevereA friend was in the Amsterdam airport years ago and noticed an elderly lady standing alone in baggage claim. He approached her and asked if she needed help with her luggage. As she turned to him, he realized it was Mother Teresa; standing alone humbly waiting her turn and declining his help.

No fanfare, no entourage just a sweet servant of God. A person who learned how to persevere in faith most of her life.

Child sitting-how to persevere

Perseverance in the Bible

There are many stories and verses in the Bible that help us learn how to persevere in faith. Here are a couple of Bible characters to inspire you to keep going by their perseverance in the Bible.

Bible Characters Who Teach Us How to Persevere

  • Joseph Persevered in Faith

Most of us know the story of Joseph from the book of Genesis.

There is a 13-year time span illustrating Joseph’s story of how to persevere; from when Joseph is 17 years old and has his dreams of being a leader to when those dreams come true.

When he told it to his father and brothers, his father reprimanded him: “What’s with all this dreaming? Am I and your mother and your brothers all supposed to bow down to you?” Now his brothers were really jealous; but his father brooded over the whole business.”

Genesis 37:10-11 MSG

Those 13 years tell an incredible tale of perseverance and staying the course. Joseph focuses on his Godly purpose and mission not his struggles or failures.

Joseph is held against his will, sold, imprisoned, trapped, rejected, and betrayed but demonstrates how to persevere in faith and fulfill the call on his life.

“So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “You’re the man for us. God has given you the inside story no one is as qualified as you in experience and wisdom. From now on, you’re in charge of my affairs; all my people will report to you. Only as king will I be over you.”

Genesis 41:39-40 MSG

  • Stephen Persevered in Faith

The story of Stephen is found in the Book of Acts. In the days of the early Christian church, the apostles needed help serving those who were being neglected.

Stephen and 6 others were chosen because of strong faith and a fullness of the Holy Spirit.

His call to leadership began at a young age and he enthusiastically pursued the call to spread the good news of Christ and serve others.

Jewish leaders who opposed the spread of Christianity began to spread rumors to stop Stephen’s work and his voice.

Stephen learned how to persevere in faith despite the persecution he faced which led to his death.

As he was being stoned because of false allegations, he embodied Jesus’ message to love and forgive others. He was the first of many Christian martyrs.

 “As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”  He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died.”

Acts 7:59-60

You may never face the struggles of Joseph or Stephen but you will face loss, disappointment, and mistakes.

Be encouraged by the stories in the Bible and learn how to persevere in faith.

Scripture on road-how to persevere

Bible Verses About Perseverance

There are many Bible verses about perseverance. Here are 5 verses that teach us how to persevere in faith.

1. Joshua 1:9 NLT    

“This is my command be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

2. 1 Timothy 4:1-13 MSG

“Exercise daily in God no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever.

You can count on this. Take it to heart. This is why we’ve thrown ourselves into this venture so totally. We’re banking on the living God, Savior of all men and women, especially believers.”

3. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NLT

“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!  All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.  

So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.”

4. Psalms 119:1-8 MSG

“You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God. You’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him. That’s right you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set.

You, God, prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it. Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course you set; Then I’d never have any regret sin comparing my life with your counsel.”

5. 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4 NLT

“Dear brothers and sisters, we can’t help but thank God for you, because your faith is flourishing and your love for one another is growing.

We proudly tell God’s other churches about your endurance and faithfulness in all the persecutions and hardships you are suffering.”

shoes walking-how to persevere

3 Tips to Help You Persevere in Your Faith

It can be difficult to learn how to persevere in your faith and pursue Jesus amid struggles, but perseverance builds character.

Here are three tips to help you persevere in your faith, stay authentic, and develop Godly character:

3 Tips on How to Persevere in Faith

  1. Have confidence in your Identity in Christ

We have to believe that God created us for a unique purpose.

We are God’s children and regardless of our circumstances, He has something for us to do.

Owning this truth makes it easier for us to stay on our path and embrace how to persevere.

  1. Use comparison to celebrate others

Comparison is a great enemy of perseverance and relationships. Comparison is a quick way to lose steam and quit the race. It is unrealistic to eliminate comparison, but we can dismantle its ability to discourage us.

Instead of letting comparison defeat us, we can use it to celebrate others.

Shannon Popkin writes in her book Comparison Girl, “On social media, in the neighborhood, at church, or the school drop-off lane, do you push yourself to prove that you measure up, then feel ashamed when you don’t?

Measuring yourself against others isn’t healthy. And it isn’t God’s plan. In fact, the way of Jesus is completely upside down from this measure-up world. He invites us to follow him and be restored to freedom, confidence, and joy.”

  1. Trust God to guide your steps

Trusting God plays a big role in our ability to persevere.

Standing on the belief of who Jesus is and how much He loves us, helps us keep walking.

We can grab each other’s hands along the way as we go through seasons of life.

But at some point, we have to surrender, walk alone, and place our trust in something or someone. I have decided to trust God!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do,  and he will show you which path to take.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT

I am still tempted into competitive thinking, but redirect my thoughts to where I am supposed to be going.

It helps to focus on staying in our lane and finishing the call on our lives.

Our most important mission is to pursue Jesus with all of our hearts and grow closer to Him so we begin to look more like him in all that we do. We are also called to help others along the way.

How do I persevere in faith? Keep walking while changing the way we think and heading toward the narrow gate.

What about you? How do you persevere in faith and not give up? 


Mary Rooney Armand

Mary is the creator and writer for the faith-based blog Her writing is featured on multiple websites. She is the author of, “Identity, Understanding, and Accepting Who I Am in Christ”  and “Life Changing Stories“—a collaboration with 34 authors available on Amazon.

2 hands with flower-how to persevere

Mary Rooney Armand

Mary Rooney Armand is an Author, Speaker, and Creator of the faith-based blog She helps others grow in their intimacy with Christ and thrive in their relationships. Her work is featured on multiple websites including Women of Noble Character, Pray with Confidence, and The Brave Women Series. Mary is the author of, “Identity, Understanding, and Accepting Who I Am in Christ” and, “Life Changing Stories” a collaboration with 34 authors sharing stories of God’s faithfulness. Besides writing, Mary leads small groups and speaks at retreats. She directed Kids Hope USA, a mentoring program for children, worked in marketing and sales, and has led mission trips to Honduras. Mary is a life coach with a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and an MBA. She and her wonderful husband Cory live in New Orleans and are the parents of four children, a new daughter-in-law, and two dogs! Connect with Mary on Instagram or Facebook.


  1. buierocks2002 on August 25, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    I enjoy your blog post today! That small phrase of two very powerful words are ones I like the best in your article, ” steady perseverance.” Reminds me of the parable of the tortoise and the hare. 🙂 Thanks for writing!

    • Mary Rooney Armand on August 25, 2020 at 7:23 pm

      So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading!

      • Lorrie Romanello on April 18, 2022 at 2:17 pm

        I enjoyed your article. It’s hard when you have lost your whole family including only child and husband and mom dad and uncles and aunts in a short span. Then God allows you to become I’ll with diabetes and heart issues. Then Irs you owe money due to your dead husband. I’m not okay scared of losing everything including ssdi. So how do you do all this when you can’t gain weight and you want to end it all?

        • Mary Rooney Armand on April 20, 2022 at 4:55 pm

          Lorrie, praying that God surrounds you with His presence and comfort. He will respond with His supernatural spirit and lead us to find peace. I am so sorry for your loss and struggles. Prayers of blessing and hope, Mary

  2. arricahess on August 25, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    Very encouraging!! Thank you for sharing all of the scriptures on perseverance. We have so many riches in the Lord to keep going for and looking forward to.

    • Mary Rooney Armand on August 25, 2020 at 7:23 pm

      Arrica, thank you for reading and yes, God’s word does provide us with riches!

  3. Marielle on August 25, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    I saw your link on the Instaencouragements link up. Persevering is so important. Thank you for sharing your insight. Comparison can definitely cause trouble, and I appreciate how you approached it. I loved the story of Mother Teresa in the airport!

    • Mary Rooney Armand on August 25, 2020 at 7:25 pm

      Marielle, thanks for stopping by! That is a great story and I had forgotten about it until I was working on this story. Still hard to believe!

    • Kudabo Victory on September 21, 2020 at 4:58 pm

      I love this

      “Winning does not count in Gid’s kingdom; love does.”

      This is one if my favorite in this post. Thanks for sharing

  4. Donna Miller on August 25, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    I love this Mary! I have been struggling with exercising the past few years because of chronic pain, I would walk/swim and hurt myself and then be out for a few days. This January (2020) God helped me to begin once again to push through the pain and keep walking and I did. My hubby has been my biggest supporter. We have continued to keep walking despite covid and the pain and I am finally up to 3 miles. This has been such a huge accomplishment and I couldn’t have done it without God and my hubby encouraging me to not give up …. â¤

    • Mary Rooney Armand on August 25, 2020 at 7:27 pm

      Donna, that is awesome that you have gotten up to 3 miles! What a great story of perseverance! I hope you continue feeling good enough to walk Thanks as always for your wonderful encouragement. As you know, writing can be a lonely journey at times and your words are always uplifting!

  5. Tabatha on August 26, 2020 at 2:49 pm

    Thank you for this reminder to persevere, Mary! (For the record, I love to exercise, but also hate to run! You’re not alone =) Joseph is one of my all time favorite men of God to learn from. I’m so grateful for his example to stay faithful when his world was falling apart. We serve an amazing God who can use the bad for good even if we never quite see it this side of Heaven. Thank you for sharing!

    • Mary Rooney Armand on September 1, 2020 at 1:08 am

      Tabatha, so glad you enjoyed the post and that I have a non-runner friend! Thanks for reading!

  6. adaughtersgiftoflove on August 26, 2020 at 7:58 pm

    I was thinking about Elijah out running the chariot, but then what about Jesus? He even took His time knowing Lazarus was dying and He would raise him. Sometimes, we just run on fear, and it’s better to slow down with Jesus. Quitting, I have discovered is just another temptation.

  7. Elizabeth Anderson on August 26, 2020 at 10:38 pm

    It can be hard not to be disappointed when we see others doing so much better than us, but we all have our own race to run. Perseverance is key.

  8. Gale on August 27, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    Thanks for this reminder. I’m in a season where perseverance is so necessary. You’ve included my ‘life’ verse Proverbs 3:5-6 which is another nudge for me to keep going. Thanks again for your timely encouragement.

    • Mary Rooney Armand on September 1, 2020 at 1:10 am

      Gale, thank you for reading and I am so glad you were nudged to push on. May God bless your persevering journey!

  9. Sheryl Mendoza on September 23, 2020 at 3:27 am

    I love this so much! So many wonderful nuggets of wisdom! Thank you so much for sharing this and blessing us with it. God bless and take care always!

    • Mary Rooney Armand on September 24, 2020 at 1:03 pm

      Sheryl, thank you for reading!

      • Sheryl Mendoza on September 24, 2020 at 8:05 pm

        You’re welcome! God bless always!

  10. Evangeline Samuel on September 25, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    Mary, this spoke to me on such a personal level today. I’ve been trying to get more fit and was getting more or more discouraged as the quarantine drags on. I was really encouraged throughthis post. Bless you.

    • Mary Rooney Armand on September 29, 2020 at 2:17 pm

      Evangeline, I am so glad you were inspired! Blessings to you on your fitness journey!

  11. Teresa Hodge on September 25, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    I love this”””But at some point, we will have to walk alone and place our trust in something or someone. I have decided to trust God!” I have found myself in times where it was just me and God. No one else could go with me through that circumstance. Persevering trust in His presence with me got me through! Praise the Lord that we can persevere in life, because of His faithfulness! Blessings! 💗

  12. jonisteinauer on September 27, 2020 at 10:31 am

    This is such a good reminder that we are not in competition with each other. The bible says we are to run our own race. Persevering on our own course is what counts. I think if we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus we will be less prone to compete with others.

  13. savoringeachmoment6cd0664a71 on September 27, 2020 at 6:23 pm

    Mary, this is a beautiful analogy you have compared running and walking to persevering in faith. It is so easy to compare my own beginning to someone else’s middle or ending and think that somehow, I’m not enough because I’m not there yet. Fortunately, God doesn’t compare us to each other and He sees our heart!

  14. Alice on September 27, 2020 at 11:37 pm

    You inspire me to persevere and write Stephen’s story and maybe Joseph’s. God has given me a heart to write stories about Bible characters in the first person.

    • Mary Rooney Armand on September 29, 2020 at 2:16 pm

      Alice, I am so glad you are inspired…can’t wait to see your work!!

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    […] we can grow and become better at relationships if that is what we desire. If we don’t persevere and learn how to move on from a friendship, we can stay […]

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  19. […] Studying others’ triumphs lifts me up, keeps things in perspective and helps me persevere instead of giving up. Some of my favorite inspiring stories are from the lives of Corrie Ten Boom, […]

  20. […] it rarely does. We must be okay with that. Think of it like a rosebud unfolding. It’s a process and forcing it won’t […]

  21. […] God’s mercy can remove the lingering effects of our past mistakes and give us the courage to persevere in our […]

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  23. […] 3.Bible Verses for Strength- After fasting, Jesus is tempted in the wilderness, and each time He is tempted He uses scripture to find strength and resist the enemy. That strength is still available to us through reading the Bible and the Holy Spirit’s guidance. When we feel like giving up, God’s words can help us persevere. […]

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  27. […] the Baptist persevered in his mission and hit the pinnacle of spiritual growth when he baptized Jesus and bowed in […]

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  29. dessie murray on September 18, 2021 at 11:32 am

    I am new to the Bible and I want to learn as much as I can and keep my faith in the Lord. I have one friend that is helping me to learn the bible and I am grateful for her for helping me.

    • Mary Rooney Armand on September 20, 2021 at 9:48 am

      I am so glad you stopped by and shared your discovery of the Bible. I pray God will continue to reveal Himself through His living word. It is wonderful you have a friend who is walking beside you! Many blessings!

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  31. […] the characters handled change despite fear, obstacles, and resistance provides wisdom to help you persevere as you strive to cope with change in your […]

  32. […] loves to engage with us as we praise and thank him, bring our requests, learn from him, and walk out his […]

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  35. […] to hear and not empty flattery. The spiritual gift of encouragement inspires and uplifts people to keep going and turn primarily to God, not other people, for answers and […]

  36. […] When you feel like giving up, God’s words can help you persevere. […]

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