Courage to keep on. – Perseverance-1

How we can persevere in life?

Introduction:

How do you respond when you are dealing with delay in life? Maybe things are not going as you expected; you go through a rejection, somebody walks out on you; you feel lonely and hurt. Such situations lead to discouragement and people quit. I heaven seen people quit their faith, some quit their job, stop the project they started, or give up on relationships.

You see, giving up is not who we are in Christ, surrendering is not our character. As a follower of Jesus Christ we can expect God’s best and win over every situation in life.

Perseverance: Means to do something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

Christian life is pictured as a long-distance race and we need to endure or persevere until the end. In our day-to-day life in our work, relationships, and so on it takes a lot of perseverance to find success and the devil wants us to quit.

Areas God want us to persevere?

1. Persevere when you suffer.

James 1:12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial….

Revelation 2:3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.

2. Faith.

James 1:2-3 2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

3. Godliness.

2 Peter 1:5-7 5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.

4. Life and Doctrine.

1 Timothy 4:16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Why should we persevere?

1. Finish the race.

Complete what you have started. Hebrews 12:1 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.

2. To be productive.

2 Peter 1:5-9 5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

3. To receive the Promise.

We should never give up walking with Christ through difficult times, you should never give up on your family or your work because there is more to life than our current circumstances. For everything you endure and do you receive a reward in heaven.

Hebrews 10:36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

2 Timothy 4:7-8 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

James 1:12 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.

Reasons people give up.

1. Fear.

They face situations fearfully through the eyes of fear.

2. Lack of vision.

3. Lack of clarity or purpose.

You do not know where you are going. No clarity of outcome so people quit.

4. Rebellion.

People do not like what they are doing.

5. Laziness.

Proverbs 10:5 He who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son. This person has done all the hard work of sowing, watering, caring for the plant but he is too lazy to harvest. Often times people give up right before victory is going to happen, right before things can change.

6. Lack of understanding.

People sometimes have wrong understanding of Christian life or the difficulties that can come even from a secular setting. So when the going gets tough they quit. John 16:33 In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

You may be one of the persons today who want to quit. You think you have reasons to quit. You are thinking, “Why should I be doing what I am doing, why should I suffer like this? I don’t have to stay here.” I have seen many people saying, “I am facing a difficulty. I am discouraged. I have decided I do not have to bear with it and I quit.” God is telling, “Don’t quit.” Do what you are doing until God tells you to do something else.

In 2 Timothy Apostle Paul is encouraging Timothy to endure hardships in ministry. Paul exhorts him from his life: 2 Timothy 4:1-8 1In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:2Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. (Paul is encouraging timothy, “There are going to come days where people are not going to believe what you are saying, they want people who make them feel good but you stay steady, sober, calm, you keep doing what God has called you to do.”) 6For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. Paul talks about what he has been through in life. He has been through tough situations in life and yet did not quit. He persevered and completed his race.

In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul described some of the persecutions and hardships he went though in life: 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 23I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.

Paul did not quit in any of these difficulties but he completed his race. So no matter what you are going through you can still complete the course that Christ has laid out for your life.

Illustration: One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried disparately for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided that the animal was very old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just was not worth it to retrieve the donkey. He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. Everyone grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing; he would shake it off and takes a step up. As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on the top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off.

 If you are in the process of giving up today, ask this question, “Does this fit who I am as am as a child of Jesus Christ?” Giving up is not our character in Christ Jesus. No matter what you are going through and what people are doing against you, use it as a stepping stone to enter the destiny that God has for you. Don’t quit, greater days are ahead of you.


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