How is your…
October 3rd, 2019
Note: This is a republish from June 7th, 2018. It has been re-edited and has had enhancements and additions made to it to make it more readable and further develop its content.
We in America have things too cooshie. This has allowed a great deal of complacency in the modern church and a wide spread attitude that the church must become attractive to non believers to draw them in.
There is no where in scripture that you will find that defined.
In fact, quite the opposite.
Now is the time more than ever when Bible believing Christians pray for endurance and see the power of God in their lives more so than any other time in history.
Commitment is important too, but we live in bodies of flesh. Paul reminds us frequently that even when the spirit is strong, the body is our weak point. Because of this, endurance is critical to our effective performance as ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)
I don’t think that we consider some of the tools that God blesses us with, or at least, we don’t consider them as much as we should. Endurance falls into that generalization. After reading a passage like the one above I find myself experiencing an internal boost of exuberance, followed by some heartfelt levity, but then I tend to move on.
That’s not what we should do. God is trying to tell us something here (and in like verses) so it behooves us to pay attention.
Our troubles help us develop endurance. That is almost an exact quote from the passage. Endurance on the other hand developed ‘strength of character’ which leads to strengthening our confidence in our salvation. That hope of salvation, will not disappoint us, because God has given us His Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with love.
It is my firm belief that we believers here in the United States are going to face increased persecution just ahead.
I write these devotionals. I use social media to promote then, as I don’t charge for them, the website I have to host them is funded out of pocket. I don’t tell you this to prompt you into feeling like this is a big deal, it isn’t. It is my meager offering.
The point I’m getting to is, I expect to notice this persecution, soon. Where I anticipate it most is discrimination against the promotion of the devotionals on social media.
I’ve already seen others who speak out about corrupt things in media be shut down for their speech. If regulators don’t step in the ultimate conclusion would be that their current policies taken to the extreme would shutdown any speech that doesn’t comply with their corporate position.
The great thing would be if the Lord brought them to salvation, which could happen, but I don’t see that so much because as the end times approach we will be challenged on every front, not only social media.
In other words, an important sequence of events tide to the one thing that Jesus held up as the the two greatest commandments 1) Loving the Lord God with all our mind, body and soul and 2) Loving our neighbor in the same way we love ourselves.
We simply are not going to get there if we don’t come through endurance. To be certain, this is a constant work in progress for us as we live and grow in Grace. But Paul writes about this because it is something that we need to be aware of.
That suffering we are going to be going through, is going to help us do what God calls us to. This endurance isn’t something that we manufacture, but God builds in us through adversity. Our willingness to accept these challenges in an appropriate way, has a massive impact on the growth of endurances, and consequently all that ensues thereafter.
In some translations the word endurance is replaced with persistence. Yes, it is a similar word pretty much interchangeable with endurance.
Let me show you something:
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
Ephesians 6:18 (NLT)
Endurance; persistence is a key element in a successful prayer life. Jesus even taught it in the parable of the widow seeking justice from an unjust judge.
He then told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not become discouraged: “There was a judge in a certain town who didn’t fear God or respect man. And a widow in that town kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’
“For a while he was unwilling, but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or respect man, yet because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice, so she doesn’t wear me out by her persistent coming.’
Then the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. Will not God grant justice to His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay to help them? I tell you that He will swiftly grant them justice. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find that faith on earth?”
Luke 18:1-8 (HCSB)
Persistence in prayer is essential if we want to see those prayers brought to fruition in our lives. God answers prayers. Our persistent requests are heard and God responds to those requests.
It is said that ‘Prayer changes us’ and that is true but Prayer changes the circumstances as well. it does so when we are persistent in our requests.
Now it is important to note in the parable above, the widow was seeking ‘justice’ and not something that outside of what was good and right. We also are bound by similar restraint to seek that which is in the will of God.
So, problems = endurance. And endurance is something we want to grow, because it helps us grow. In love, in our prayer life, in our witness to others, and in our service to the King.