Applying perseverance in persecutions and as a test of loyalty
Last week we talked about perseverance as an essential aspect of our Christian lives. We saw that persevering means much more than simply hanging on when things are tough. It means we set our hearts and minds on moving forward, no matter how small the steps might be. We examined some Isaiah scriptures that gave us a glimpse of what Jesus’ own focus - what his “game face" - looked like. And we established that we need perseverance in many areas of life and discussed it in the context of our trials and afflictions. We heard the story of Jonathan, a 14-year-old young man who is persevering through a serious case of Scoliosis. Today, we expand the scope of our perseverance conversation as we look at the persecutions and tests of loyalty every Christian must endure. We do this both scripturally and through the stories of Lorain and Fred, two mature Christians whose life experiences pressed them to persevere in ways they never saw coming.
Lorain was a dedicated Christian whose focus was always on serving God. Several years ago at age 36, she was struck with Multiple Sclerosis and her life’s trajectory dramatically changed. We recently caught up with her and observed her experiences and growth. What we found was an amazing story of perseverance. She helped us to understand that sometimes our life requires us to approach it like a soldier who is always preparing for or facing battle.
As Christians, we are sometimes called upon to persevere through persecution. Often this persecution comes from those who are close to us, from friends, associates and even family. This is difficult, as there is usually no place to hide when this happens. How do we handle it? Like Lorain, we soldier up. We fight these battles by wearing the armor of God as instructed in Ephesians chapter 6. Here’s the thing - our mission may not be to vanquish someone persecuting us. It may be to instead witness our Christian character to them. Our mission as soldiers is to do what God would have us to do and not what we feel like doing. This can only happen when we apply Christian perseverance to this fight.
Fred was a happily married, dedicated Christian when nine years ago his wife died suddenly and without warning. This experience broke many parts of him, but it didn’t break his faith. Fred shared with us how over years he picked up the pieces and reset his life’s direction. His perseverance was and is like that of a farmer. Slowly, methodically and according to Scripture, he did the work to cultivate Christian growth and maturity. His story is one that helps us understand how our perseverance should be solely focused on our loyalty to God through Christ.
Check out our January 11, 2021 podcast, “How Can I Persevere When Life Gets Tough? (Part II)" for more. Not only is this journey thoroughly inspiring, it is deeply educational as well. Mastering Christian perseverance is one of the secrets to living a fulfilled life. Join us and get on the path to victory!
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