1 Corinthians 12:1-3 says this “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. “
What does it mean to persevere?
Perseverance is a verb and it means to persist in anything undertaken; maintain a purpose inspite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement. It means to persist in speech, interrogation, argument, etc.
Sometimes we as Christians find it hard to persevere with certain situations seeming to inundate our surroundings. Sometimes the situations are unintentional but other times they are intentional whether we would like to believe it or not. Sometimes the situations are passed down to us, passed with us, and sometimes initiated by us.
Think about what type of word “persevere” is. It is a verb. What are verbs? Don’t they take some sort of action?It is not an adjective; nor, is it a Noun. I guess you could call yourself one who perseveres in order to make it a describing statement (adjective). Even when you call yourself one who perseveres you are saying that you are doing something with your situation. When you say “I persevere” you are describing an action of something that you are. Perseverance is a positive attitude to a negative situation. If you aren’t persevering through your trial your are giving up and giving in. You can’t give up and persevere at the same time. You have to do one or the other.
We have a race set out before us. That race is called life, and in that life we will have trouble. Guess what though: Jesus Christ has made us a way of escape from all of our troubles. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,the will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
You might ask yourself, “I have trouble in this life and God has not made away for me yet.” I tell you the truth, God has already given you a way of escape from the perils of this life so long as you have given him priority in your life to be your Lord and Savior. Jesus knew whenever he was about to depart from this world that his disciples would continue to have trouble in the world. Jesus prayed a particular prayer for his disciples and later for us too since we are considered his disciples if we profess his name. John 17:6-26 has the entire pray that Jesus prayed for his disciples and for any who would believe in the message sent by his disciples. For the sake of room I will not put the entirety of his prayers. If would like to read his entire prayer then you may read it for your self.
“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.My prayerisnot that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.Sanctify them byt the truth; your word is truth.As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.
As you can see Jesus clearly says that his disciples will still have trouble in this world, but he has petitioned for them to be given protection through their trials. Even though we are saved and we are set free from sin and we no longer have to be in bondage of the curse of the law we still live in a fallen world that is still filled with all kinds of evil. The earth is still the dominion of Satan and his angels, but because we are no longer ours but Christ’s Satan has been placed under our feet. We have been given all authority to bind whatever is on earth to be bound in heaven and to loose whatever is on earth to be loosed in heaven (Matthew 18:18). In verses 19 and 20 of Matthew 18 we goes on to express that if two or three of us gather in his name and agree on anything that we ask for, it shall be done by God in heaven.
You see perseverance is more than just barely getting by. It is owning the power that Christ has given you from his sacrifice on the cross and putting it to practice in your life. It is not God’s will that you should suffer or be in lack. He gave you the ability to be heirs of God and joint heirs with him (Romans 8:17). Earlier in Romans 8, Paul makes mention that the Spirit that we have received of God does not make us slaves that we might be in fear again; rather, the Spirit that we received brings about our adoption to be sons and daughters according to his sacrifice.
Why should we suffer if we who are in Christ are called God’s children? Situations of this world might bring about suffering (persecution, loss of a job, etc.) but that is because we are living in a fallen world. It does not mean we are fallen and we deserve it. It simply means that this world is filled with trouble and because we are here living in this world we will experience it in part. That is why Jesus prayed for his disciples first and then for us that we might be strengthened by his Spirit whenever we fall prey to a fallen aspect of this world.
The Book of James mentions an aspect of perseverance that we should look at. James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James goes on to say in verse 12 of the same chapter, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
Blessed are you if you persevere! Blessed are you when your perseverance is made complete. We must be doers of his word, and his word says to persevere. He does not want a wimpy people that gives up at the first sign of trouble. He wants a people who can stand firm wearing the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6). Be encouraged that God has made a way for you to escape the perils of this life. He did not created this world just to have everything wind down in the culmination of time. He is taking an active participatory stance when it comes to his children. Just like we would go to the aid of our children when they call. He will come to our aid when we cry out to him.
Don’t stop praising the name of Lord. Your break-through is on its way. 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” You might say, “I have been praying for 20 years for my healing or financial stability and haven’t seen it yet. When is my break-through going to come?” Well, brother or sister, I can tell you pray-on. I can’t tell you when exactly his promise will take effect concerning your break-through, but one thing is for sure, it is right around the corner. Keep pressing in. Keep honoring God. Keep stirring up the gift that is within you, and you will see the glory of God rest on you like never before. God is not slow concerning his promise. He’s timing is perfect. Keep praising the Lord and seeking his face until you receive what has been coming to you the entire time. Satan would like to have you think that God will not keep his promise to you, but that is a lie. God will keep his promise to you. Press in and claim what is rightfully yours. You are a child of God with a heavenly citizenship. You have rights that you are not tapping into.
If you would, leave a comment about something that you are persevering. Don’t feel obligated to do so, but if you feel led to encourage someone else concerning an instance in your life that God has brought you through, or is continuing to bring you through feel free to leave a comment. Sometimes it is the confession from our mouth, or the keyboard that can bring about the difference in our life. I am excited to receive your comments and if you would like me to pray with you about something just say so and we will agree together that it will be done in Jesus name.
Peace, love, and Christ ’cause you know that He died for you!
Your Friend in Christ,