Hello! I hope you had a good day! Would you agree that sometimes living a consistent Christian life has its challenges? There are times when you slip up and fall to temptation knowing that you are doing is wrong, yet you do it anyhow. Then there are times when your faith in God is tested and the test gets the better of you and you go away with doubt about God’s concern, care and love. Why is it that so many Christians do not have the spiritual strength to deal with these kinds of challenges? Have you been there? What does God tell His people about being able to resist and defeat the temptation to sin and to take on trials and be better for it?
In this session we are going to talk about perseverance and what it means. All Christians need the ability to persevere and overcome temptation and trials over the long run. Perseverance is developed by adding to your basic faith a commitment to live out the goodness and excellence of Jesus, along with living by the principles and standards that come to you from God’s Word. These two things bring about great spiritual growth that empowers you to be self-controlled.
Self-control is the ability to defeat the powerful temptations of sin, and it is the power to be self-controlled when your faith is tested by trials of all kinds and remain faithful through it all. Being tested by trials is a critical to the transformation process that produces permanent changes in you. As you go through trials and defeat them one at a time it makes your faith stronger and stronger to the point that your faith in God cannot be shaken.
In this “toughening up” process of your faith, you gain the strength to persevere no matter how hard the trial. This is the purpose of trials. Experiencing trials and overcoming them produces the strength you need to persevere and be faithful, reliable and trustworthy servants of God fully accomplishing His will.
Hebrews 10:36 AMPL For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance (perseverance), so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God.
The word “perseverance” is an umbrella word for the different strengths you need to be strong in facing whatever trial you encounter. Perseverance is defined as, “steadfastness, endurance, constancy, patience, patient continuance, cheerful or hopeful.” (Strong’s Concordance)
What are the qualities that you need to perform and fully accomplish God’s will?
Perseverance is being STEADFAST.
Being steadfast means to be “firm, fixed, or established in the faith. It means that you do not change, waver or are fickle. It means that you do not give up but stay the course.”
This quality is developed in you by adding to your faith goodness, knowledge and self-control that equip you to be tested by trials and defeat them.
You need steadfastness to fully accomplish God’s will.
Perseverance is having ENDURANCE.
Endurance is the power of enduring. It is the ability to last. It is the ability to continue or remain. It is the ability to stand pain, distress, fatigue and other challenges. It is fortitude and duration. It is the ability to endure hardship.
This quality is developed in you by adding to your faith goodness, knowledge and self-control that equip you to be tested by trials and defeat them. You need endurance to fully accomplish God’s will.
Perseverance is being CONSTANT.
Being constant is not changing but remaining the same. It is remaining firm and resolute in purpose. It is remaining steady in affection for Jesus and in loyalty to Him. It is being stable in your love for God. It means continual and persistent. It means to continually hold to your values. It means not being swayed. It means to be continually faithful.
This quality is developed in you by adding to your faith goodness, knowledge and self-control that equip you to be tested by trials and defeat them. You need the be constant in order to fully accomplish God’s will.
Perseverance means to be PATIENT.
Being patient is bearing or enduring pain, trouble, and other aggravations without complaining or losing self-control. It is refusing to be provoked or angered, as by an insult. It is forbearing or putting up with. It is tolerant. It is calmly tolerating delay, confusion, inefficiency and the ability to wait calmly for something desired. It is steady, diligent persevering.
This quality is developed in you by adding to your faith goodness, knowledge and self-control that equip you to be tested by trials and defeat them. You need patience to fully accomplish God’s will.
Perseverance is having PATIENT CONTINUANCE.
Patient continuance is the living out your commitment to be like Jesus and live by the knowledge found in God’s Word. It is being self-controlled and not yielding to the pull of sin but doing the right thing no matter what. It is patiently being faithful and continuing on the course God has laid out for you. It is patiently fulfilling your role in God’s plan to reach the lost with the gospel. It is patiently continuing in spite of cultural influences or strong opposition or persecution. You need patient continuance to fully accomplish God’s will.
Perseverance produces CHEERFULNESS.
As you add the qualities to your life that bring spiritual growth, God’s Spirit takes control of your thoughts and feelings, and your personality changes. You become a happier person. The critical spirit of your human nature is replaced with a new, more pleasant cheerful spirit. You become more cheerful. It is a demeanor that reflects the fruits of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, gentleness…. Perseverance produces the cheerful personality of Jesus. This change in personality is developed in you by adding to your faith goodness, knowledge and self-control that equip you to be tested by trials and defeat them.
Perseverance produces HOPE.
As a Christian continually adds to their faith goodness, knowledge, self-control and perseverance, they develop unshakable hope. This is the Christian who is secure and confident in their faith. Their faith has been developed and strengthened through this process and are fully equipped to accomplish the will of God.
Perseverance is a state of being in Christ that represents complete change. These qualities of perseverance represent the highest level of spiritual growth there is. Perseverance is the complete transformation of a mind that has been renewed with new godly ideals and new godly ways and new godly habits that come from adding goodness, knowledge and self-control to your faith.
Their roots grow deep into God. They have grown to the point in their faith that they cannot be shaken, undermined or taken down by life’s trials or temptations. This Christian has been changed and transformed into the image of Jesus by going through the process of development that began by adding goodness, knowledge, and self-control to their faith that prepared them to take on trials of many kinds and defeat them all. By going through the tough trials that test their faith and in remaining firm and faithful, these Christians develop a hope of eternal life that is so strong that it cannot be taken away.These are the Christians that Jesus was referring to when He spoke of “no one can snatch them out of my hand.”
John 10:27-29 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
Jesus describes the Christian who has grown to maturity in their faith. This is the Christian who listens to the voice of Jesus and faithfully follows Him. This is the Christian that Jesus “knows” intimately, as a husband and wife know each other. This is the Christian who cannot be snatched from the Father’s hand. This is the Christian that will never perish because God has given them eternal life.
There is no way to grow to this point in your faith without going through trials and overcoming them one by one, and this requires that you add to your faith goodness, knowledge and self-control. The Holy Spirit gives you a clear picture of how experiencing trials and overcoming them are essential to growing in your faith and developing spiritually in James 1:4.
James 1:4 NIV Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be MATURE and COMPLETE, not LACKING ANYTHING.
The word “MATURE” means, “complete in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, completeness, of full age, perfect. This teaches that the believer who consistently makes every effort in various applications of labor (adding goodness, knowledge, self-control, and perseverance to their faith) grows in mental and moral character and becomes complete, of full age, and perfect in the development of their faith. This is the Christian who is complete in their faith.
The word “COMPLETE” means, “entire, perfect in every part, perfectly sound and whole.
This is the Christian whose faith has proven genuine by repeatedly going through trials and repeatedly overcoming them. The process of going though trial after trial and repeatedly overcoming each trial matures and perfects the believer and makes them “perfectly sound and whole.”
As you go through these difficult trials, God uses them to chisel away your imperfections, and crafts you into a masterpiece. These Christians “lack nothing” because they have been transformed into the image of Jesus. They have been transformed into the “new creation” God promised.
This is the Christian who perseveres when tested; remains steadfast no matter what the circumstance; endures the hardest of times; is constant and does not waver; knows how to be patient and wait on God; who continues living out their faith and salvation in good and bad times; who has gone through a personality change and has become cheerful person, and who has a hope of eternal life that is so strong and certain that it cannot be shaken, undermined or destroyed. This is the Christian that God can trust and rely on to do the ministry of Jesus. This is the Christian whose hope of eternal life is certain!
Next session we will be focusing on the ministries of the believer starting with Godliness. What is godliness? What is brotherly kindness?
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