Matthew 24:12 (NIV) – Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. (Not few, not many but most!)
“Strength of character comes out of the decisions we make, temptations we face, the conflicts of life and disappointments we experience.”
We pray God stop this, but God needs you to go through it- Character is on the other side…
Jesus said it – John 16:33 (NIV) – “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (In Christ we are over comers)
Living for Christ is not easy when attempted in the flesh.
There are many who have given up because they say and “I Quote” It’s too difficult… the sacrifice is too great.
Growing up as a Christian I was tempted many times to just give up in the battle.
Having studied spiritual warfare over these many years.
Here are characteristics of believers who don’t give up in the battle:
Characteristic 1 ®They’re solidly connected to a local church (How many I can recall who have shipwrecked their faith)
That is they don’t just attend a church; they participate in it.
Hebrews 10: 24-25 (Ampl) – 24 and let us consider [thoughtfully] how we may encourage one another *to love and to do good deeds*, 25 not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ’s return] approaching.
*To love and to do good deeds – How do you do this: By you setting the example of love and good deeds.
Acts 20:28 (NIV) – Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
They’re involved in small groups (Home cells)
They are living and adding value for something other than themselves.
Characteristic 2 ®They have a devotional life, even if it’s not perfect.
They might be struggling with consistency but they’re working at it. It’s a lifestyle.
They actually make time to read the bible and pray
Psalm 119:105 (Ampl) – Your word is a lamp to my feed and a light to my path. (If you don’t you’ll wonder off the path.)
1 John 5:14 (NIV) – This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. (It speaks of spending time with God)
1 Chronicles 16:11 (NIV) – Look to the Lord and his strength, seek His face always.
Characteristic 3 ® They have somebody to walk with them. We become like the people we hang with. If you want a friend-be a friend.
They don’t fight the battle alone because they have a fellow Christian who supports and stands with the.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (Ampl) – Therefore encourage and comfort one another and build up one another, just as you are doing.
Galatians 6:2 (NIV) – Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the laws of Christ.
Let me ask you; Are you such a person to someone?
Characteristic 4 ®They choose to believe what the bible says
Even when they may not “Feel” like it’s true they make the choice to trust God’s word and apply it to their lives.
Romans 4:21 (Ampl) – Being fully convinced that God had the power to do what He had promised.
Hebrews 13:5 (Ampl) – Let your character [your moral essence, your inner nature] be free from the love of money [shun greed—be financially ethical], being content with what you have; for He has said, “I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]!”
Characteristic 5 ® They rehearse God’s care in the past (You look back only at the Victories)
It’s easy to forget yesterday’s blessings when today is hard.
Those who don’t give up and fight hard stretch their faith and avoid unbelief to take root.
Psalm 103:2 (Ampl) – Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget any of His benefits;
Characteristic 6 ® They trust that when they are weak, God is their strength.
2 Corinthians 12:10 (Ampl) – So I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength].
They might not like the battle, it may be tough and at time unbearable; “BUT GOD” is their strength and He will get them through as He did in the past.
Characteristic 7 ®They understand the witness of Faithfulness in the Battle
They recognize that somebody’s always watching them
Deuteronomy 31:6 (Ampl) – Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble in dread before them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not fail you or abandon you.
Titus 2: 7-8 (NIV) – 7In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
1 Peter 2:15 (NIV) – For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.
The greatest testimony is when life is hard the battle great – their Faithfulness catches the attention of a watching world.
Characteristic 8 ® They cry out to God (As their first priority not as an afterthought)
God is not just their emergency Chemist – they don’t pretend – their prayers are real.
Psalm 143:1 (NIV) – O Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.
Psalm 61:1-3 (Ampl) – Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. 2From the end of the earth I call to You, when my heart is overwhelmed and weak; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I [a rock that is too high to reach without Your help]. 3For You have been a shelter and a refuge for me, a strong tower against the enemy.
Have you been thinking of giving up in the Battle lately?
Maybe you’ve already drifted from God….
Let us trust God to help us build these 8 Characteristics into our lives.