Summary: Find Strength to persevere in this midst of trials
THE SOURCE OF PERSEVERANCE
By Pastor Kevin Evans Tay
• This week I felt like I was drawn to this passage as I prepare for today’s sharing.
• If you have your bible, turn to 2 Corinthians 4. I’m going to read to you verse 8-9.
• I felt like this is the word for this season and we are heading to the recovery stage even as a nation or as a church.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NKJV)
8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed--
• So I entitled today’s message: Source of Perseverance: SOP
• So we will have a Breakthrough but not Breakdown in the midst of our own storm.
• Let’s pray. (Prayer)
• We are in a season that none of us familiar with.
• A time that everything became uncertain.
• A time that the number of people die goes by a few thousand a day due to the COVID-19.
• A time that businesses are affected, hotels closing, school stops, airplanes with empty seats.
• Church gathering was not allowed
• jogging outside was not allowed
• going out is no longer a leisure but more on survival (groceries, a job to survive)
• Apart from all this, many people are affected.
• Not just financially, but also emotionally lost, stress level spike up in that season.
• People wearing a mask & sanitize,
• People are worried and panic.
• Some of you may also think twice whether to attend or not.
• But I want to assure you that even though things around us keep changing dramatically,
• but the God we serve is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
• He is still with you, He is looking after you, He loves you, He never forsakes you.
• If you believe, say a loud Amen.
• Apostle Paul, since the day of his conversion.
• Nothing gets easier for him instead his trial is getting harder and harder.
• The challenges he faced, I think none of us can compare to his.
• But don’t get me wrong,
• I’m not saying the trial and challenges you face is piece of cake,
• but what I want to bring out today is the source of perseverance that Paul has.
• That gave him the ability to keep going.
• At the beginning of 2 Corinthians 4, he started by encouraging the readers by saying, “we do not lose heart” in verse 1.
o It means don’t give up
o Persevere on.
• And towards the end of chapter 4 in verse 16, again he said, “therefore we do not lose heart.”
• In Paul’s ministry, he went through lots of crazy situations that probably beyond what our mortal body can bear.
• If talk about giving up,
• I think he has all the reasons to do so.
• But what is so fascinating is the strength he has to move on in the midst of his storms.
• How many of you persevere through a hard time?
• So I only have 3 points that I want to draw from the life of Paul.
• May we learn and find the strength to persevere in our time of uncertainty.
1. WE PERSEVERE IN GOD’S PURPOSE (Christ-follower do face challenges)
Sometimes we go through the storm in the will of God.
2 Corinthians 11:23-28 (NIV)
23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.
25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.
• Yet in the later letter, he still knows the purpose of his life is to live for Christ
Philippians 1:21 (NIV)
21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.