The Persevering Christian – By Pastor George Lehman
“To me, it has been a source of great comfort and strength in the day of battle, just to remember that the secret of perseverance, steadfastness, and indeed of Victory is the recognition that “the Lord is at Hand”
– Duncan Campbell
Hebrews 10:35-36 (Amp) – 35Do not, therefore, *fling away your [fearless] confidence, for it has a glorious and great reward. 36 For you have need of patient endurance [to bear up under difficult circumstances without compromising], so that when you have carried out the will of God, you may receive and enjoy to the full what is promised.
*Fling away – It’s an active action you take, only you can do it.
Note Verse 36 gives us the how to do it.
Metaphors* (Beeldspraak) involving warfare is written all over the Bible.
New Testament writers, frequently draw on some form of them to illustrate Christian life.
These metaphors remove any doubt that living a Christian life will not be like a Sunday picnic. (We have a real enemy)
The focus of these metaphors is on the stresses, struggles and sacrifices we will face as Christians.
Just like any soldier at war for his country and loved ones, he must possess some measure of devotion, determination, and dedication for the cause, without it He will have no impact on his mission.
The more these qualities in his Character the greater the likelihood that he will endure, persevere, and stay steadfast in the trails of warfare in a hopeful spirit.
Get out the feelings zone and get into the Faith zone.
Faith dominates the picture of a Christian’s fight with the Spiritual forces that are against him.
Ephesians 6:16 (NIV) – In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (The missing ingredient in many people’s lives.)
Hebrews 11 is the classic faith chapter in the Bible.
It may not be as popular as Psalm 23 (Encouragement) or 1 Corinthians 13 (Love)
Hebrews 12:1 (Amp) – Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of [a]witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us,
This verse shifts our attention to practical applications of the lessons that come from Chapter 11.
Hebrews 11 then is to faith – what 1 Corinthians 13 is to love and what Psalm 23 is to encouragement.
Hebrews 11:1 (Amp) – Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].
Before Paul wrote Hebrews 11 he introduces faith to the church.
Hebrews 10:35-39 (NIV) – 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. 37For in just a very little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay, 38But my righteous one will live by faith and if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him. 39But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.
1 Peter 1:6-7 (NIV) – 6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trails. 7These have come so that your faith- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even through refined by fire- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (A strong unshakable faith is important to God)
Notice the strong earlier statements the Hebrew writer makes regarding unbelief:
Hebrews 3:12 & 19 (NIV) – 12See to it brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 19So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.
We talking about the Christian fight as → 1 Timothy 6:12 (Amp) – Fight the good fight of the faith [in the conflict with evil]; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and [for which] you made the good confession [of faith] in the presence of many witnesses
Very clearly the scripture tells us what will strengthen our faith to fight well to end well.
2 Peter 1:5-6 (NIV) – 5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness.
Hebrews 10:36 (Amp) – For you have need of patient endurance [to bear up under difficult circumstances without compromising], so that when you have carried out the will of God, you may receive and enjoy to the full what is promised.
The Greek word used is “Hupomone” it means “persevere” or “Endure”
Meaning: Constancy* (Standvastigheid) and steadfastness indicates that persistent effort is being made under suffering hardships and temptations.
In other words it’s a “quality of character “that does not allow one to surrender. Slowing down is not an option, cooling down is not an option.
Paul says → 1 Corinthians 2:5 (NIV) – So that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.
2 Corinthians 5:7(NIV) – We live by faith, not by sight. (It’s not how bad my circumstances are, but what God’s word says)
We need to be fighting the good fight of the faith
Faith is so important that Jesus said: Luke 18:8b (NIV) – However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?
Galatians 6:9 (Amp) – Let us not grow weary or become discouraged in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap, if we do not give in.
1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV) – Therefore my dear bothers stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.
2 Thessalonians 3:5-6 (NIV) – 5“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. 6In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.”