Sudhir Isaiah, Ph.D.
The Command to Persevere
The Lord asks us to persevere and He is ever willing to reward us for our perseverance.
Because you’ve kept My command to persevere… Revelation 3:10
Christian life is like running a race, perhaps a marathon. Different people at different speeds run this race differently. Some run at slow speed, some at medium speed, and some run in the ‘fast lane.’ It is a well-known fact that in order to run this race the runner needs stamina – sustained energy – that helps us to last until the finish line.
Perseverance Means More Than Endurance
Toward the end of his life, Paul was able to say, as he persevered by faith, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith and the crown of righteousness awaits me” (2 Timothy 4:7).
To Paul, to persevere meant more than to endure-much more than blindly holding on to something until the end. It is holding on to ‘God Said So.’
A Bow and Arrow in the Hands of an Archer
The believer’s life in the hands of God is like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is always aiming at doing something in our lives that we cannot yet see due to our finiteness. God continues to stretch and strain to mould us into something that He wants us to be – a masterpiece of some sort. For many this is a painful stretching, and often we find ourselves saying, ‘God, I can’t take it any more, it’s enough’ and yet God, like an unmoved sculptor, seems to pay no attention at all. He goes on stretching until His purpose is in sight, and then He lets the arrow fly.
Intimate Relationship and Closer Walk as the Means
Therefore, we really need to entrust ourselves into God’s hands, possible only by an intimate relationship and a closer walk with Jesus Christ, which then becomes the basis for persevering by faith. It is only then we will be able to proclaim like Job, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15).
Faith to Persevere About
Well, what is this “Faith” to persevere all about? Is it some weak and pitiful emotion? Or is mere presumption? Or is it some kind of wishful thinking? No! It is a strong and vigorous confidence built on the fact of hearing God’s voice (John 10:27) that tells us that God is the ultimate source and strength of faith to persevere in the face of difficulties and trials, even though we cannot see Him, nor understand His purposes right now nor are fully able to comprehend what He is doing in our life.
This then, is the supreme effort of our life – throwing our self with ‘abandon’ and total confidence upon God, because “… faith is the substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
God gave us His ALL in Jesus Christ to redeem us and to shape us into His likeness, therefore, He would desire that we give our ALL with total ‘abandon’ in Him so that we can become like Him. The more we become like Him, the more we will have the faith to persevere.
Quickening Through Overcoming Hindrances
Perhaps, there are areas in our lives right now, where that “faith” to persevere has not yet been quickened within us, and areas in our life still untouched or partially touched by God.
From John 5:19, it is refreshing to note that in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ, there were no such areas where He had not heard God and where He had not walked by faith. Therefore, in our life also there ought to be no such areas.
The real meaning of faith and the faith to persevere, then, is a life that can face anything when we have heard from God and are willing to respond like Peter, “Lord, if you say so …”
This is the secret of Faith to Persevere.
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Sudhir Isaiah, Ph.D.
Bethany International University