~Ephesians 6:17-20 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
We hear how the Christian must persevere – but just what does that mean? The word perseverance appears only once (in any of its forms) in Scripture. Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines the word as:
PERSEVE’RANCE, n. [L. perseverantia. See Persevere.]
1. Persistence in any thing undertaken; continued pursuit or prosecution of any business or enterprise begun; applied alike to good or evil.
Perseverance keeps honor bright.
Patience and perseverance overcome the greatest difficulties.
2. In theology, continuance in a state of grace to a state of glory; sometimes called final perseverance.
Verses 17-20 speak of spreading the Gospel, watching, persevering, and praying for all the saints. The spreading of the Gospel back in Paul’s day came with a cost – many times the saints died for their effort. Is it any wonder that Paul encouraged them to persevere? Those were difficult days indeed. Thirty years ago, it was easy to spread the Gospel. People were more open to listening and very gracious. However, those times are quickly coming to an end. People are much less tolerant and consider those who spread the Gospel as “haters and intolerant.”
~Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Today’s text on perseverance is, once again, becoming a “life lesson” to the believer. We can’t give up – not now after we’ve been through so much. We can’t give up telling others about Jesus Christ! We can’t give up on someone’s soul!
~Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them [to this end], that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
We are in the end times spoken of in Matthew 24, friend. As the end draws nearer, the saints are going to need to persevere. Our tribulations are only the beginning of sorrows – we mustn’t give up or faint! I totally believe that our time is short to tell others about salvation through Jesus Christ. Given a few more years, the little bit of tolerance left will be totally gone. In fact, it will probably be against the law to stand on the streets to share the Gospel. Evangelists and soul winners in Michigan are experiencing that right now and being arrested for preaching on the streets because it offends Muslims. In a few more years, this will be true all over our country.
As the world worsens as Matthew 24 warns, our testimony during trials and tribulations will speak volumes to the unbelieving world. Therefore, we must keep ourselves ‘fed’ in the word of God. The Scriptures are filled with encouraging words to help us! God’s spoken words are all there in one place, the Bible, ready to equip the saint and train them in perseverance (Ephesians 6:13).
The picture above was taken by a sweet Christian lady, Connie Wentworth and used here with her permission. Her pictures are mostly taken in the State of Maine and depict God’s glorious creation! Thank you, Connie, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!