We can have perseverance, but not be content, never fully resting in what God has given us for this time, leading to discouragement with ourself, others, and ultimately God. We may continue to persevere through what we feel is another roadblock not considering it was placed there by God so that we may cease from striving for a time and find contentment in Him alone.
For each of us there has probably come a time when the Lord has brought his words found in Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God" to our minds. In the original language, this truly means "enough, know I am God." When I am cooking with my children, we're measuring items out, and I tell them "that's enough," if they were to keep adding more the whole dinner could end up tasting horrible. Now, I do understand a little more basil could have been just the thing to make it outstanding, but depending on what I am making, too much salt or baking soda could ruin it completely. That may be a poor analogy, this one might be better understood. If you are a bread baker, consider overworking your dough and ending up with a tougher result than desired. It might still taste OK, but it wouldn't be as satisfying to your palate. When you hear the word "enough" from the Lord, it is a good time to stop persevering for a season and look to rest in all that God has for you right now.
The other side of the issue I have found as I have been meditating on this leads to being content, but not persevering, becoming complacent, ceasing to strive toward the goal Christ has for us in the name of contentment. While previously noted, perseverance can lead to being overly driven, in the same manner I think being overly content may very well lead to laziness. This may mainfest itself in a variety of areas in our life just as well as overdoing it can. While one may be overzealous in their study of the word and neglect their family's needs, another may be overly complacent in their spiritual journey and not seek out the Lord for direction in their daily tasks unless a crises arises. While some are overinvolved in church activities and ministries, others are so content with the way things are that they fail to engage in the ministry of their own children who are right under their nose.
It is not my intent to inflict shame on anyone here. I find myself having hit both extremes at times and am currently seeking the Lord for balance and what He desires for me to stock my pantry with. While the saying doesn't really apply to everything in my pantry, such as love and compassion...too much of a good thing, can really be too much. I think too much perseverance or too much contentment could make for a string of unsavory suppers around here.
What are your thoughts on finding balance in these two areas in your own home? How do you "run with perseverance the race" (Heb 12:1) and still be "content in any and every situation" (Phil 4:12)?