Summary: Persevering for Christ - Continuing in our Christian Walk
“Perseverance for Christ”
(Elijah Stepp, Jr.)
Choice of opening Illustration……………….
Perseverance is a term which may be over-utilized.
Explaining what it takes for a team to win a game, a coach may say perseverance is required.
A boss may tell employees perseverance is required for a deadline to be achieved.
We may tell ourselves perseverance is required on our part to reach our goals.
While these are all true, perseverance is harder to actually maintain than it is to talk about.
Our ability to persevere in our Christian walk with God is sometimes sidelined.
God’s word is our personal guide book of perseverance.
Statements made by those who missed the mark related to perseverance
- I will not sit in my living room all day watching TV, Instead I will move my TV into the bedroom.
- The first step is to say nice things about myself. The second, to do nice things for myself, The third, to find someone to buy me nice things.
Perseverance is the strive to persevere
Webster’s Dictionary defines the term Persevere this way:
To persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement
Blessed is the man who perseveres
12Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
Why to Persevere for Christ
Let us start out with the good news….
We gain God’s blessings from perseverance.
This passage may lead us to understand that we must persevere to receive God’s blessing. However if we look at the James 1:12 more closely it says blessed is the man who perseveres – he will receive the crown of life. The crown of life is the reward for our perseverance.
But the blessing comes during the struggle of persevering.
If the butterfly does not persevere to emerge from the cocoon, it likely will die.
If someone came along and helped open the cocoon – The butterfly would never be able to fly.
Like the butterfly…
We are being blessed by persevering for Christ.
1) The blessing of spiritual strength through our relationship with Him.
2) The blessing of spiritual confidence through our relationship with others who believe in Him.
3) The blessing of spiritual muscle through our work for Him.
4) The blessing of spiritual Power through our worship to Him
Like the butterfly…
If we stop persevering for Christ – we may die spiritually.
If someone else were able to persevere for Christ on our behalf – we would never spiritually fly.
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
An unknown Confederate soldier penned these words:
I asked God for strength - that I might achieve.
I was made weak - that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked God for health - that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity - that I might do better things.
I asked for riches - that I might be happy.
I was given poverty - that I might be wise.
I asked for power - that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness - that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things - that I might enjoy life.
I was given life - that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for - but received everything I had hoped for...
Almost despite myself - my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am - among all men - most richly blessed.
3…but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
4perseverance, character; and character, hope.
You need to persevere
35So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
36You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
God created us, loves us, and wants to help us realize our potential - so that we can be useful to others.
For this reason -
I believe we as Christians have a God given basic need to persevere. To survive and finish many given tasks and goals to grow as followers of Christ
Life has a way of keeping us from Persevering for Christ
And we sometimes get sidelined in our walk with Christ
1 Our prayer life becomes limited
2 Our attendance in the Lord’s house becomes less
3 Devotion and meditation time with Jesus happens less often