Posted by: everynation | May 23, 2011

Perseverance part 2

By Paul Barker

Perseverance is the steadfast effort to follow God’s commands and to do His work. “And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.” (II Thessalonians 3:13)

“The Greek word for perseverance is hupomone, which is defined as steadfastness, constancy, and endurance. In the New Testament, it is the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings.” (Mark A. Copeland, The Need for Perseverance, http://www.ccel.org)

What does perseverance produce?

  • Perseverance produces Christian maturity.

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

  • Perseverance produces fulfilled promises.

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

  • Perseverance produces lasting fruit.

“But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.” (Luke 8:15)

In Western Africa, it was fourteen years before one convert was received into the church; in East Africa, ten; in New Zealand, nine years before one baptism; in Tahiti, it was sixteen years before the first harvest. William Carey labored seven years before the first Hindu convert was baptized. In Burma, Adoniram Judson toiled for seven years before he had one convert. He said in a letter to England, “Beg the churches to have patience. Tell the brethren success is as certain as the promise of a faithful God can make it.” (Quoted in, Character Journal #6: Patience, http://www.characterjournal.com)

How do we persevere?

  • We persevere by keeping our eyes focused upon Jesus.

“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. 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. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:1-3)

The author is referencing the Greek foot race which was run on a straight course 600 feet long. The judge sat at the end of the course holding the prize, and the participants could see him from start to finish. If a runner took his eyes off the judge to look at the spectators (the cloud of witnesses) or the other runners, he would lose his advantage and jeopardize his chance of winning the race.

  • We persevere by keeping our eyes focused upon the reward.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (II Corinthians 4:16-18)

.

Paul Barker is currently the Director of Leadership Development for Every Nation Ministries. He leads the team that produces the ENLI curriculum for North America and that trains vocational ministers to do university and high school ministry.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: