May 03rd, 2020
Stubbornness with an Eternal Purpose
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. - Is 40:31
Persisting in a good cause pays great dividends. This principle proves true in all the areas of our life. A stream cuts through a rock not because of its power but through its presistance. Thomas Edison and his associates once performed nearly a thousand experiments before they finally succeeded in coming up with the information they were looking for. People in research often work in laboratories for many years before they achieve a breakthrough in the prevention or cure for a deadly disease. Some missionaries have spent their entire lives in India proclaiming the gospel with almost no visible fruit. But their successors reaped a great harvest. What if all these people had quit just because they weren't seeing immediate results?
When Jesus' countrymen rejected Him and drove Him out of the synagogue, He didn't give up on them and return to Heaven without completing His mission. Nor did the apostles cease to preach when they ran into opposition. Neither should you stop serving the Lord just because you aren't seeing the results you should. Nor should what others do or say deter you in the least.
But how do we persevere in faith? A big part of perseverance involves enduring trials and tribulations. As Christians, we are to be ready for and not surprised by trials and suffering. Scriptures tell us that all who seek to live a godly life in Christ will be persecuted. Those who believe the Christian life should be easy and carefree are misguided as each of us have uncomfortable crosses to bear. However, we do not carry our cross under own our strength; rather, we are strengthened by the Holy Spirit, not only to persevere through suffering, but to rejoice in the midst of it.
God has promised to use even fiery trials and chaotic troubles to strengthen our faith and make us more like Jesus while working all things to our good. In the end, our perseverance is rewarded with an eternal weight of glory that will make our temporal suffering seem immaterial in comparison.
Christ is our perfect example of perseverance. His faith was tested and yet He never faltered. He suffered and yet did not retaliate. He endured the horrors and brutality of the crucifixion. He persevered when He was forsaken and betrayed by those closest to Him. He did all this for the joy that was set before Him and to gloriously save each of us. Let us be eternally grateful to Christ and pray that God will grant us the strength and perspective to persevere under trial, fight the good fight, and finish the race. Always remember, if we suffer with Him we will reign with Him!
If we must persevere in anything, it should be in turning our attention to God. He is there for us through everything, and we can call upon him any time. Stay busy for the Lord, our job is to be faithful, it is His problem to bring the results sought.
When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you…
Never give up then, for that is just the place God is waiting for.
“Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer” Romans 12:12
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Pastor Rudy Oakes