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November 6, 2015

PERSEVERANCE = a determined attitude that makes you continue trying to achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition. Steadfastness in doing something despite delay in achieving success.

Believers have an enemy whose primary objective is to kill, steal, and destroy. This enemy uses many tactics to accomplish his goal, and one of the main strategies that he implements is oppression. He keeps piling on problems trying to weary us out. Our counteraction is standing on God’s word, utilizing our warfare tools and persevering. This experience is what I call, “The Perseverance Test.”

The Bible has many scriptures informing believers that this life is not a bed of roses. It has stories of people that struggled until they reached their goal and some that struggled and died never experiencing the joy of accomplishment even though they did not give up. It has scriptures to encourage us to remain steadfast, and Jesus also speaks to this issue by telling his disciples that their family members may turn on them, and they may be hated by everyone, but if they persevered to the end, they would be saved (Matthew 10:21-22).

Paul in his writings to Timothy told him to endure hardness as a good soldier (2 Timothy 2:3) for Paul was a good example of enduring or persevering despite the many tumultuous hardships and obstacles that came his way during his years of ministry. Lest we think his life was easy Paul shared his plight in 2 Corinthians 11: 23b -27, “I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness” and these were beside the thorn in his flesh that he had to bear. When he neared the end of his ministry, Paul declared, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). In other words, he endured afflictions, he persevered.

Paul is also an example for me. I thank God for the time and country in which I presently reside. I thank God for my citizenship that provides me with freedom of choice and speech; for when I listen to the news and read newsletters of persecuted believers in other countries I am appreciative that it is not me in their shoes. Though I believe I have a high threshold of pain, I know the pain that Paul and other persecuted believers endured would be more than I would want to handle. However, as a song, my church choir sang, “I have a made up mind and whatever the cost I am going through.” I will persevere for God knows how much I can bear, and He does not give me more than I can handle. Thus, I have to talk to myself often and encourage myself for I plan to pass the perseverance test. How about you?

From → Test Series

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