Posts Tagged ‘Perseverance

20
Sep
18

When You Are Persecuted

Following Jesus will eventually bring persecution into your life. Jesus is threatening to people who want to live according to their own standards. People want to serve themselves and Jesus says, “Deny yourself.” People want to gratify their sinful natures and Jesus says we have to take up our cross. People want to follow their hearts and Jesus says, “Follow Me.” When you live for Jesus, you threaten their lifestyle and therefore they threaten your life. Jesus said:

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad,​ ​because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. – Matthew 5:11-12 (NIV)

Persecution is nothing new and it will continue until Christ returns. Do not forget that there is a great reward for the faithful. Don’t give up! Persecution is temporary. Heaven is for eternity. We’ll be there soon and we’ll know that perseverance through persecution was worth it.
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22
Aug
18

Spiritual Heroes

Do you have a spiritual hero? Is there a fellow Christ-follower you admire? Maybe it is because of their heart for God and people. Perhaps it is because of the way that they pray. It could be that you look up to them because you know how devoted they are to reading Scripture and teaching others. It’s someone whose example you want to emulate. Paul told the Philippians that they should follow his example. He wrote:

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. – Philippians 4:9 (NIV)

It’s a good thing to have a spiritual hero or a mentor. We all need to follow Jesus’ example first and then the example of others who have been walking with Him for a long time. If there’s someone whom you admire spiritually, why not let them know that you look up to them? It isn’t for the purpose of boosting their ego, but rather to encourage them in their faith. We all need encouragement to keep going in this life. Knowing that they are inspiring you may be the encouragement they need today to persevere through troubles, trials and tests.
13
Aug
18

Standing Firm

In Philippians 3, Paul reminded his readers that they were destined for Heaven. No matter what came their way as far as threats of persecution or death, they could have joy because they were citizens of Heaven. He then told them what to do in the face of threats. He wrote:

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends! – Philippians 4:1 (NIV)

When we go through trials, tests and troubles, we need to remember that in the end, Jesus wins and we will overcome this world. It is not in our strength or power, but through the power of the Son of God. We have to remind ourselves and one another often that this world is not our home. The troubles and trials we face are only temporary. So stand firm in the face of difficulties. Stand firm in the face of persecution. Stand firm in the face of fear. Don’t give up! Don’t give in to fear! Stand firm!
03
Aug
18

Pressing On Toward Heaven

We all go through various troubles, trials and tests in this life. Followers of Jesus are not exempt. It would be nice if God would bestow a kind of “most favored nation” status on us, but He doesn’t promise a pain-free life for anyone. He promises something else – Heaven. Paul wrote:

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV)

There’s kind of a past, present and future thing going on in these verses. Paul chose to forget the past while pressing on in the present toward an amazing future in Heaven. We would all do well to follow His example. Forget about the past while pressing on in the present toward an amazing future. This is how we can get through the troubles, trials and tests of life. Keep your eyes on Heaven where Jesus waits for you.

02
Aug
18

Keep Going

Life is hard. Following Jesus is hard. Living a life of faith and faithfulness day in and day out is downright difficult. Sometimes it is a daily battle to just keep going. The apostle Paul knew this daily struggle. He wrote:

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. – Philippians 3:12 (NIV)

Paul was referring to reaching the goal of spiritual maturity and looking more like Jesus. He knew that he was spiritually incomplete. Maybe you know that feeling. You know that you have a long way to go to look more like Jesus. You’re still working on loving God and loving, serving and forgiving people like Jesus did. Let’s face it, it’s hard to be like Jesus. That doesn’t mean that we throw in the towel. We must keep going. Fight that daily battle against sin and the flesh. Love God by loving people. Persevere through the difficult times. Know that Jesus is cheering you on as you journey toward home.
02
Jul
18

Persevering Through Persecution

If you read the book of Acts, you’ll see that Paul suffered all kinds of persecution for Jesus. When he wrote his letter to the Philippians, he was writing from prison. He told them that they would also suffer persecution for Christ. He wrote:
​For​ it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have. –  Philippians 1:29-30 (NIV)
Jesus said that the world hated Him and that the world would hate His followers, too. As we get nearer to His return, we’ll only see things get worse. We have to persevere though persecution may come and continue to follow Jesus, even if it one day costs us our lives. In the end, Jesus wins. Those who remain faithful with be rewarded. No matter what happens, stay faithful to Jesus and trust Him to empower you to persevere.
22
May
18

What’s Coming

One of the questions that is most often asked about faith in God and His Son, Jesus Christ, is about suffering. Why do we have to suffer? Why is there pain in this world? There seem to be so few answers when it comes to the question of suffering. Here’s the thing, the Word of God doesn’t sugarcoat the fact that there’s suffering. Paul wrote:

 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. – Romans 8:18 (NIV)

Paul admits that we suffer. This world is full of suffering and everyone suffers because the world is broken. The good news of faith in Christ is that God’s promises can help us persevere through suffering. That the temporary struggles and sufferings are nothing compared with the future glory that is coming for God’s people. Yes, we are going to suffer hardships, pain, persecution, disease and death. These are temporary. God promises that when we get to Heaven, these things will be no more. Suffering will be done away with when God’s glory is revealed to us, so hold on to His promises today.



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