Most dictionaries give a two-point definition of perseverance:
1. A steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
2. The second has a theological input: Continuous in a state of grace to the end.
The French “perseverance” means persistence or endurance, while the Latin origin “perseverantia” means steadfastness or constancy. Since we have these ideas of difficulties, obstacles, discouragement and even endurance we may over-react into thinking of hardship, struggle and even misery. That is why the theological lens is so important.
Yes, patience and persistence is integral to persevering. It is an exercise and a state of being as defined above. And because it is state of being, it has a lot to do with mindset. When the focus is on grace, both in the now and in the outcome, then perseverance becomes joyful not torturous. We can endure because we believe and trust in the graciousness of our expectations.
It is in this mindset that Paul writes in Romans 5: 4 that “perseverance produces character and character produces hope”. Hope is pure grace and in it there is peace and joy.