To learn to endure and persevere

Published 4:35 pm Thursday, August 31, 2023

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Anyone and everyone that has ever attempted to faithfully serve the Lord and to live a life that honors Christ has met continual opposition, disappointments, and discouragements. These often become so severe and prolonged that we are often tempted to quit, to just throw in the towel and give up the good fight of faith. Quitting is often the easiest course because it comes natural to us all. We take in these hard times and too many often take the easy way out. Our first instinct to quit is natural. It’s a part of your “fight-or-flight” response, the psychological reaction people experience when they sense a looming threat. While this survival mechanism helps you react quickly in life-threatening situations, it can also can cause you to be rash at work or other areas of your life.
Quitting comes natural and is fleshly, but persevering must be learned from the Holy Spirit. Jesus continued to press on and make His way to the cross of Calvary. He was mocked, spit on, ridiculed, and beaten, however he never quit. He cried out, “It is finished.” He completed the mission of His Father! The Holy Ghost is Christ in the Spirit, and that Spirit resides inside those who are His children. We must allow the Holy Spirit to teach us how to endure and persevere through the difficult times.
Perseverance means being persistent despite the difficulties or delays we face. Continued pursuit of Christ! Allowing nothing to stop you from following after Him! The Bible teaches us to persevere in faith, trusting God to fulfill his promises. When we face difficulties, we can trust that God understands our situation and sees our distress. Endurance is bearing or suffering, and a continuing under pain or distress without resistance, or without sinking or yielding to the pressure; sufferance; patience. Jesus said in Matthew 24:13, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” We must learn to endure the hardness of this life. 2 Timothy 2:3 declares, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”
I came across a short story online that demonstrates true endurance and perseverance. “During a Monday night football game between the Chicago Bears and the New York Giants, one of the announcers observed that Walter Payton, the Bears’ running back, had accumulated over nine miles in career rushing yardage. The other announcer remarked, ‘Yeah, and that’s with somebody knocking him down every 4.6 yards!’ Walter Payton, the most successful running back ever, knows that everyone – even the very best – gets knocked down. The key to success is to get up and run again just as hard.” (Jeff Quandt, Irving Wallace, Book of Lists, 1980.) We may get not knocked down, but we got to get up and keep on running! If you are reading this and you are thinking about giving up on your marriage, other relationships, or in any other area of your life, please reconsider. Allow God to bring you through this valley and storm! It too shall pass.
(Brandon Young is pastor of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church in Hampton)

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