“I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already
reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus
first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I
focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,
I press on to reach the end of the race and received the heavenly prize for which
God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3: 12-14 (NLT).
One key to
having God move in our lives, and in our church, is simply to endure, to persevere,
to get past the obstacles that Satan places in our path. Giving God room to work
involves continuing on with the race that our God has marked out for us. It truly
is much easier to quit, then it is to fight the good fight. Satan works at having
us consider quitting as much as he possibly can. But, scripture calls us to run the
race and to finish what God has designed for us to accomplish.
The bible instructs
Christians to be patient and persevere in the face of trials. Waiting on the Lord
when sickness or other situations happen is often difficult. But, if we do not throw
away our confident trust in the Lord and continue to do God's will. We will receive
all that He has promised. The scripture reads in Hebrews 10: 37-38 (NLT), “For in
just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. And my righteous ones
will live by faith. But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away.”
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.” Romans 5: 3-4 (NLT).
Of course, God comes in His
perfect time, which we usually think is way too late! He has purposes in His “delays.”
One of which is to enable us to develop the character qualities in the above scripture.
So if you are going through the fire now, be sure that you allow it to accomplish
these purposes in you! It will give you great peace now, and enable you to handle
the next crisis with much more confidence.
Galatians 6: 9-10 (NLT) says, “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. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we
should do good to everyone – especially to those in the family of faith.”
In the midst
of a passage on the implications of sowing to the Spirit verses sowing to our sinful
nature, the apostle Paul gives us some much needed encouragement: We need to learn
to sow good seed in the midst of bad harvests. It is one thing to do good when things
are going well; it is entirely different to do good in the midst of tough situations.
We can become so tired and lose perspective. Do you feel like giving up? Stay with
it. The harvest is waiting.
James 1: 2-3 (NLT) says, “Dear brothers and sisters, when
troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that
when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.”
When we rely on God
during our hardships, we see how much God loves us and how He is there for us every
step of the way. The more we lean, the stronger we become. The stronger we become,
the less life's circumstances will get us down. Life is hard. No one said it isn't.
So let's align ourselves with the one who can increase our faith, so that we can
persevere even when things look bleak.
Michael W. Cochran