Perseverance is the only way to reach our goal. Fix your eyes on Jesus and keep running.

 

Perseverance

2 Peter 1:6

 

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

Remember to put the glass down.

 

Don’t hold onto the stress and worry of life.

Matthew 11:28  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

 

Giving your problems over to Jesus is the only way you are going to endure the difficulties of this life well.

 

2 Peter 1:5  For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6  and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance;

 

One more trait we need to add to faith – But what is faith?

How many of you use a GPS?  You don’t know where you are going but you follow the voice of the GPS to get you where you want to go.

Is that blind faith?  No

Others have followed and got where they wanted to go.

You have followed and got to the right place.  The GPS is trustworthy because of advanced technology.  My phone will show me what intersection I am at.

 

You have seen movies that someone manipulates the GPS and sends the person into trap, the person’s trust is abused by an evil person intending to harm.

 

Following God with each step of our life will get us where we want to go.  Our faith and trust is in God, He is our loving, gracious creator – we just need to follow His voice as He leads us day to day.

 

In your map app type Heaven for your destination and then follow the directions.

When you take a wrong turn God doesn’t let you keep traveling the wrong way – “Recalculating, Recalculating”

He shows you how to repent and get back on the right track

The path is not as short or smooth – but you are headed in the right direction again.

 

Faith is trusting Jesus’ directions.

Do you have faith?  If not please consider committing your life to Jesus today.

If you have faith then add to your faith, moral excellence and knowledge and (in power) self-control and add perseverance.

 

“Perseverance” – The term may also be translated steadfastness, endurance and patience. It is the ability to withstand temptation, hardship, or persecution.

For the Christian the basis of perseverance is not personal strength but trust and hope in the Lord. For God is a God of patience.

 

Romans 15:4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Endurance / Patience brings hope.

 

Romans 5:2 … And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

 

Endurance brings hope, and hope does not disappoint. If we endure we will have hope.

 

Romans 8:24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

 

Endurance brings hope, and hope does not disappoint. If we endure we will have hope.

If we have hope we will endure. One supports the other, they are interdependent.

 

In late fall of 1777, General George Washington and his rag tag army of militiamen suffered 2 defeats at the hands of the British at Brandywine and Germantown. He and his 11,000 men retreated to Valley Forge, PA to establish winter headquarters. It was a dark time for the revolution. Many died of starvation or cold, never more than half of the force was in any shape to battle at one time. Many deserted the cause, because the stress and suffering was too great. But thousands remained faithful. They stayed in there, despite frozen bodies, starvation, sickness and bone-biting coldness, because they had a goal and a purpose for being there – that was more important to them than personal comfort or even safety. In February they began a regrouping that prepared them for pursuing the British all the way across New Jersey in June of 1778.

 

They persevered in the face of defeat and unbelievable conditions and odds.

Christian persevere like the American during the Revolutionary war.

 

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

 

Christian you have hope so persevere.

 

1 Thessalonians 1:3 We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Think of Job’s example.  He endured because he had hope in who God was.

James 5:10  Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11  As you know, we consider 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.

 

Job could have given up and cursed God.  He trusted God through his suffering and God blessed him.

Perseverance is not easy but who else are we going to depend on in our times of suffering?  Immoral living, alcohol, bitterness

God is the only answer.  You know that but do you always but your hope in Jesus and endure the difficulties.

 

Persevere in all areas of life.

Jesus’ example

 

Hebrews 12:1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

 

Jesus endured so we can endure and not lose heart.

 

Why persevere?

Jesus commended 3 of the 7 churches in Revelation for persevering (Rev. 2:3, 2:19, 3:10) (2 Thess 1:3-4)

Perseverance is the way to Maturity

 

James 1:2  Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3  because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

 

You will be tested; you will have difficulties in life.  And have questions in your relationship with God.

Expect trials, “What does not kill you makes you stronger.”

If you give up in the midst of a trial you have been killed.  If you survive you will be stronger.

 

Romans 2:5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will give to each person according to what he has done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.

 

The only way to stay in Jesus and receive Eternal Life is to persevere, to have patient endurance. If we do not endure we quit, we give up on living for Jesus and thus we forfeit our salvation.

 

Perseverance is the only way to Heaven    Perseverance is the name of the street we must travel to get to Heaven’s Pearly Gates.

 

Hebrews 10:36  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

 

We who have accepted Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior have been promised Eternal Life.  Life in Heaven with God.  We will receive that promise if we persevere through the struggles of earth.

 

Christian will you persevere and receive the promise of Heaven?

Accept Christ and He will give you the hope and strength to endure to the end.