August 20, 2011
"Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise." Hebrews 10:23
Life is tough.
We come to know Christ as Savior and Lord, and He alters us completely. We find ourselves renewed; ready to engage the world with the power of Christ working in and through us. We expect the world to change. It doesn't. Instead our surroundings remain eerily consistent. We continue to endure strained relationships, bills to pay, a job to pursue, and mortal bodies which fail us daily.
Is it worth the effort?
Is a relationship with God through Christ worth pursuing when we routinely face trouble and hardship and persecution and famine and nakedness and danger and sword?
A relationship with Christ is worth continuing even if the effort to maintain that relationship requires us to sacrifice everything within us.
Hebrews 10:35-37 read, "Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised. For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay."
God sees your effort to hold fast to His ways, and He will reward you greatly for your patient endurance.
Hebrews 10:32-34 read, "Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions."
Though life is hard, stand your ground. God has better and lasting things stored up for you.
Scripture says 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 (James 1:12).
The apostle Paul tells us to rejoice in suffering because—there's more to come. Continue to shout your praise even when you're hemmed in with troubles, because you know how troubles can develop passionate patience, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping you alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, you're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—you can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into your life through the Holy Spirit! (Romans 5:3-5, The Message)
So when you face a troubled marriage . . . persevere.
When you face a rebellious child . . . persevere.
When you face a difficult work environment . . . persevere.
When you face financial hardship . . . persevere.
When you face the loss of your health . . . persevere.
When you face the temptation to abandon your faith . . . persevere.
Galatians 6:9 reads, "So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up." Sometimes we must spend a lifetime planting before we reap a harvest. But one day a great harvest will come.
How will you respond to His call to persevere?