AT THE beginning of the month about 100 people from our church made the annual pilgrimage to Somerset for a Christian Festival called ‘New Wine.’ The Guardian newspaper once dubbed it ‘Christian Glastonbury,’ as it sees a mixture of music and worship, mud and rain, seminars and meetings; all aimed at helping us draw closer to the God that we worship.

This year was particularly challenging on the weather front! Most people arrived to pitch their tents or park their caravans on already sodden ground and during the first part of the week some even dug small trenches to enable the water to pass around their tents rather than through them! Anyone not in wellies was in for a torrid time making their way around the site, but it didn’t seem to dampen all people’s enthusiasm.

In times of adversity people will often stick together. This is particularly true of God’s people who know that they do not live their lives alone but with a God who loves to care and comfort them. 

Some of my camping neighbours wrote a Bible verse on their tarpaulin which said: “Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds because the testing of faith produces perseverance.”

Although this made us laugh at the time, the more I think about it, the more these words from the Bible ring true. Life is not easy and we need to be people who persevere and don’t give up when the going gets tough. With God on our side we can do this.

Hats off to all those campers who endured and persevered and stuck it out until the end!

Whatever you are tempted to give up, is perseverance part of your character? If not then perhaps it’s time to ask the God of all hope to help you so that despair can be turned into joy.

Cirencester Baptist Church