PERSEVERANCE & PATIENCE- HALLMARKS OF A CHRISTIAN
Tuesday, 5 June 2018
James 5 : 1-12
“Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” - James 5:10,11
Patience and Perseverance are two qualities that are very much linked together, though there is a difference between the two. Patience suggests tolerance or endurance of difficult situations, while perseverance suggests determination whereby an individual strives to achieve his target. Hence the key difference between patience and perseverance stem from the fact that while perseverance pertains to an action, patience does not.
James 1:12 says, “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised.”
Here there is an action involved— he has to persevere! We are in a race, which needs determination, guts, and endurance to finish. Anyone can start a race, but what matters is getting to the end! The world says, “The first Impression is the best impression” but from the Bible we understand, “The Last impression is the Lasting impression!” Jesus Christ in The Beatitudes said, Blessed are those undergo persecution for the sake of the Gospel, for there is a reward in heaven for them. (Matthew 5:11-12)
How do we plod on till the end? When we look at Job, he had the real confidence of Whom he was holding on to— it was God who made him move forward, looking on and relying on Him even though his friends tried to discourage him.
The best Person for us to look onto is Jesus Christ who endured the cross and was victorious! He has laid His footprints for us to follow. Hebrew 12:2 encourages us: “Look to Jesus!” Jesus is the rock, the sure foundation of our faith. Keep Him in view when everything else in your life seems spinning and you are sure to land safely in His arms! His promises are enduring and steadfast; but we have to lay aside certain things in order to cling to Christ.
Three steps to look into:
Hebrews 6:12 says, “… so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
Step1: Be earnest to maintain a strong faith in the Lord. The strength to keep us going in obedience to do the will of God is faith, namely, the assurance of hope. It’s the assurance that by God’s grace we will make it through the tough times and that the reward will be worth it all.
Step 2: So don’t give up in our routine of righteous living. Be patient in it.
Step 3: We want to finally inherit the promises.
Another characteristic to inherit the promise of God in our lives is wholeheartedness to keep focus. Numbers 32 :12 says, “… none except Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua the son of Nun, for they have wholly followed the Lord.” He followed the Lord wholeheartedly; nothing half-hearted about him. There was no choosing when he would follow or when he wouldn’t. And he was 85 years old when Caleb said: “Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day, ……the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said." (Joshua 14:12).
Brethren, may we persevere, be patient to inherit our promises in God!
Let Us Pray: “Almighty God we come into Your presence and ask Your grace to have a deep- rooted faith in Christ and to walk in perseverance and patience in our daily life till we meet You. In Jesus name we pray, Amen."
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