Summary: God calls us to persevere and endure things in life to get to the place God wants us to be. David went through a lot before becoming King.
How Long Are You Willing To Persevere
Saints we are in part 3 of our series, “Why Me, Why Now.” Pastor Toby brought us “When Losses Come Into Our Lives”, Pastor Kellie came with “I Didn’t Expect This To Happen To Me.” and I have the message, “How Long Are You Willing To Persever,” in other words, just how much are you willing to put up with before you say “that’s it I quit. Lord I am out of here.”
How many of you have ever made a wish before? Now almost all wishes fall into one of two categories. We either wish for something good to happen, or we wish for something bad to come to an end. Either way, our wishes cause us to end up somewhere we currently are not. They take us to a more comfortable place.
I don’t know how it happened, but somehow the devil snuck into the church and started preaching a gospel that goes like this. Come to Jesus and you will always be healthy, always have money, always succeed, and never have a problem lasting more than a week or two. And yet we have verses in the bible like our Scripture reading today which says join with me in suffering like a good soldier of Jesus Christ, train like an athlete, and be a hardworking farmer.
What soldier do you know signs up for a week of service and comes home with an honorable discharge? What athlete do you know who does not experience some pain while getting into shape? What farmer do you know who plants his corn on Monday and sells great big ears of corn by Saturday afternoon.
A soldier knows that basic training is hard, but it’s nothing like seeing someone shooting at you with guns and missiles. An athlete knows if there is no pain, there is not going to be any gain. You have to push your muscles and your lungs beyond where they want to go and it hurts. A farmer knows it takes a while for crops to grow and a whole lot of things can go wrong in the meantime. A Christian is to experience the things a soldier, an athlete, and a farmer goes through if he or she is to grow in God.
We all have some dreams inside of us and that’s good. But for every dream there is a price, even when the dream comes from the Lord. Suppose God came to you in the night and said, “I have called you to be one of the nation’s best____________________and you fill in the blank. If God gave you the opportunity to be among the nation’s best, what would it be.
Now imagine how the pressure really builds, when someone comes and publicly announces that God has anointed you to become the next________________. You would probably feel pretty good about the announcement. You would probably even say, “now what’s the next step I should take to get ready for this to happen to me.”
Now before you think, nothing like this could ever happen, let me tell you it already did happen to a guy in the Bible. How many of you have ever heard of a little guy by the name of David. Well when he first got this message, nobody really knew who he was. He was the youngest of eight sons. His father Jesse, thought he was so insignificant, that when the prophet Samuel came looking to anoint one of his sons, Jesse did not even think to bring David into the house. Yet David was the one that God had chosen to be anointed the new king of Israel.
Of course David had to wait his turn in line because Saul was still King. David got off to a great start by fighting and defeating Goliath the giant when no one else would do it. He was promoted as he led the troops into battle again and again. This boy was on a fast track to success. God was with him in just about everything he did. He knew that God’s will was going to come past.
The only problem with knowing the future is that it makes us think, it’s going to happen tomorrow with minimal inconvenience to our lives. We know that if God said it, it’s going to happen. Everybody wants a prophecy of what God wants to do in their lives, but if God shows us what He has to take us through in order to get there, many of us would ask God for an alternative route based more on our liking. How many of you have gone through some things to get where you are, that you would have chosen to have avoided if God had given you the chance to do so.