IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: PERSEVERANCE IS STRENGTH AND KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL LIVING
Rev. Innocent Chukwudi Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
“But he that shall persevere unto the end, the same shall be saved”
To run life’s race, we must have the power of God.
Eternal life means I have God’s supernatural grace within me that enables me to live the Christian life. His power strengthens me to run the race in a way that glorifies Him.
Paul said, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). God’s power indwells us in the person of the Holy Spirit, whom we received at our conversion. Our problem is that we so often fail to tap into His power that is always there. We are like the man who was pushing his car up a hill only to discover he merely needed to turn the key and ignite the powerful engine. How much better it is to turn on the power and enjoy the ride. So it is in the Christian life.
At times, we grow so weary that we want to pull over and stop running. But the race of life demands that we keep moving forward. We cannot stop. There are no yellow caution flags to stop this race, no pit stops. Just the daily grind.
To run life’s race, we must have the power of God. In our weakness, God’s power is perfected. The very divine power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is available to us for living the Christian life. This supernatural strength energizes us to run life’s race. By His grace, we are raised to walk a new resurrection life in Christ.
“He who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
— Matthew 10:22
Waiting for God is not laziness. Waiting for God is not going to sleep. Waiting for God is not the abandonment of effort. Waiting for God means, first, activity under command; second, readiness for any new command that may come;…
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
— Philippians 1:6.
Here Apostle Paul speaks of a good work commenced in “all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi.” By this he intended the work of grace in the soul which is of the operation of the Holy Ghost. This is eminently a good work, since it works nothing but good in the heart that is the subject of it. To bring a man from darkness into light is good, to deliver him from the bondage of his natural corruption, and make him the Lord’s free man, must be good; it is good for himself, it is good for society, it is good for the church of God, it is good for the glory of God himself. It is so good a thing, that he who receives it becomes the heir of all good, and moreover, the advocate and author of further good.
“If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.”
The Lord is reminding us that if we grow faint when trouble comes, how small is our strength in Him.
You are complaining because of the adversity that you see. You see trouble and you just accept that as the final word, that this is the way it is going to be. You have to look ahead to the end of the matter and see that what I have promised will come to pass despite what it looks like at this moment in time. Stop looking at the moment and keep your eyes focused on me and my promises. If you do that you will see the promises overtake the situation of the moment!”
“But the Lord rebukes Jeremiah’s impatience, saying, If you have raced with men on foot and they have tired you out, then how can you compete with horses? And if [you take to flight] in a land of peace where you feel secure, then what will you do [when you tread the tangled maze of jungle haunted by lions] in the swelling and flooding of the Jordan?”
Jeremiah 12:5 Amplified Bible
Here Jeremiah the prophet is complaining to God because of the prosperity of the wicked. What we read above is God’s response to Jeremiah’s complaint. I thought it was unusual wording by the Lord. He is telling Jeremiah that if you get weary from running with men on foot, how will you be able to compete with horses?
Things in your life may look discouraging or even appear hopeless, but it is not the final report and it is not the final word. The final word is His Word and His promises. When it appears (as it did to Jeremiah) that unrighteousness is advancing in your life, it is not the end of the matter and Jesus wants us to remember that we are not to grow weary. He expects more from us and we should expect more of ourselves through Him. He really does expect us to run against horses and win!
PERSEVERANCE: JOSEPH’S EXAMPLE
The sweet smell of success – everybody loves success.
And in this passage of Scripture we see Joseph, at the pinnacle of his success, standing before the king of Egypt, and the king handing him complete authority.
By most people’s standards, that’s success.
But I bet there were people who didn’t know his background who thought, “Yeah, well that’s okay for you, mate.
Life has been handed to you on a silver platter.”
But Joseph wasn’t always a successful man.
At the age of 17, ten of Joseph’s brothers ganged up on him, faked his death, and sold him into slavery.
His new owners took him to Egypt, and sold him to a man named Potiphar.
He proved to be so trustworthy that his master entrusted the entire handling of his affairs to Joseph.
And then the trouble began. Potiphar’s wife, who no doubt was used to getting her own way, took a fancy to the young Hebrew slave. Day after day, she pressured him to sleep with her. Finally, when he continually refused to sleep with her, she accused him of attempted rape, and Joseph was thrown in jail.
Betrayed by his own brothers, enslaved, wrongfully accused, jailed, Joseph didn’t get it easy.
I think that many of us can relate to facing difficulties in life.
Today, we continue our series on Perseverance in support of our 2022 theme “Renewed Faith.”
It’s a quality that Joseph had. And it’s most definitely a quality that Jesus personified.
That quality is perseverance – the ability to hang in there, to stick with it, to keep on going.
Following are five things to note about “Persevering.”
Persevering People experience failure just like everyone else
Sin and striving are common for man.
Joseph went though it.
Persevering people try, and fail, and sometimes it’s their own fault, sometimes it isn’t.
But they get over it.
They are not some super-breed of human who go from success to success.
The thing is, we all make mistakes, we all have down times, we all fail sometimes. Nobody is fail-proof.
Failure may not necessarily say anything about you personally.
It might say something about others
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.”
Christianity is a bed of roses, with tests, trials and challenging times in our journey of faith. Such challenging times are what the Bible refers to as “the evil day” (Ephesians 6:13), or “the day of adversity” as read in our opening verse. Some believers dread such periods and specifically pray to God never to allow them go through trials and challenges. To avoid situations that challenge your faith is to checkmate your chances of promotion.
Why would God admonish you to rejoice when tests and challenges come at you on all sides? It’s because He knows that victory is in your spirit. Having been born again, you’ve become an overcomer and more than a conqueror. Consequently, no situation that you face should overwhelm you.
God knows what stuff you are made of, that’s why He said:
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
You have what it takes to overcome any trial, temptation or adversity. So you must not cower, give in or faint under any pressure whatsoever. Be tough. Jesus was tough. He withstood and triumphed over all the contrary winds that came His way (Hebrews 12:2).
There’re things that make you tough as a Christian, and if you don’t welcome them, you’d remain at the same level of faith and maturity. Therefore, your adversaries are important in the toughening process, so never pray against them, no matter what troubles, problems and difficulties they bring your way. Welcome the as necessary challenges to strengthen your faith-muscles and you’ll discover they’re the agents for your promotion.
So welcome challenges; welcome troubles, because they’re the contrary winds that help to drive your roots deeper. And the more the wind blows against you the higher you’ll fly. Hallelujah!
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
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