Last week every time I turned around I was hearing the same word from many different sources…perseverance. I had been praying about one of our partners who has endured disappointment time after time for many years, as I was seeking God for a ‘word in due season’ to speak to him, I kept hearing messages about perseverance. I knew God was speaking clearly.
Perseverance is defined as steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially despite difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
Romans 8:25 says; but if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
I think we could all agree that most of us are hoping for something we have yet to see.
The generation before us knew some things we didn’t and practiced them diligently. Most of us are from the word of faith generation where we have heard numerous teachings on miracles, signs, wonders and what great faith accomplishes. All this is great teaching and I am in total agreement with what the word of God says about miracles and healing and such, however I must make one observation. Those of us who believe that miracles happen and that God is bringing a miracle our way often have trouble when the ‘miracle’ or promise isn’t manifested right away.
Yes! We have faith for miracles! YES! We believe the word of God and confess it with our mouth but what happens when what we know God has promised isn’t manifested right away? Will we continue to believe? Will we grow weary and give up? This is where perseverance comes in and this is what the generation before us knew.
I hear about people like Oral Roberts, Kenneth Hagin Sr. and Norvel Hayes who knew how to ‘pray through’, they did not become discouraged when a promise didn’t manifest immediately they simply persevered until they saw the promise…they never gave up.
These days I come across many people who, in the beginning, believe they have heard from God concerning a promise, but as time passes they begin to question that promise and eventually let go of it. One version of Proverbs 29:18 says without a vision, the people let go.
If you begin to question what God has said and speak against it, eventually you will let it go…and that is sad.
Did you know that Colonel Sanders tried to get 1,000 people to buy his recipe before he was able to start his own company that we now know as Kentucky Fried Chicken? Did you know that Thomas Edison tried to create electric light over 10,000 times before he succeeded? Did you know that Sylvester Stallone approached over one thousand people about filming Rocky before anyone would agree? These people persevered…they steadily persevered with one purpose in mind, despite obstacles, difficulties and discouragement.
One thing separates these kinds of people…perseverance. They could have quit but they refused and they persevered until the promise manifested.
I once read an article about two brothers who sold all they had and went to dig for gold. They just knew this one place was where they would find gold. They tried and tried, after several months they gave up and sold their claim to another man. This new owner brought someone in to survey and tell him where to dig; he was told to dig in the same exact spot, three days later he struck gold.
I must wonder how many Christians have begun believing God for big things only to end up living a life settled for. I had a friend, she was full of the spirit of God and God had promised her big things. She went after those big things…for a while. Then a few years passed and she began to settle for less than what God had for her. One day she came to me and told me that she knew what was happening in her life was NOT what God had for her, that God had told her this was not what he had for her…but in the end, she settled for it. It makes me very sad for her. I see this over and over.
Now, I am not saying it is easy to persevere, frankly these messages this week on perseverance have caused me to see areas where I have laid down a promise and settled for a little less than what I had hoped for…I don’t want to be one of those. You see friends, we all have dry seasons, but we don’t have to end there, God can and will do all He has promised if we only persevere.
I read a story a while back about a man who was teaching another man to chop wood. We all know this is not an easy task. Chopping wood is hard and the wood seldom splits the first time, especially for a beginner. After a great deal of chopping, this weary man finally asked, ‘how long do I keep chopping?” The other man replied, ‘until the wood splits.’ So, it is with us. We must keep standing on the word, keep confessing the word, keep standing in faith…until it manifests.
If you have laid down promises, if you have settled for less than what you know God has shown you, I encourage you today to pick up those promises, repent of laying them down and go after them full force. Ask God to give you a spirit of perseverance. Ask God to strengthen you to endure to the end. Don’t give up. Don’t settle. Please don’t. God is such a big God and He will do great things, but perseverance is a must.
We can look at the lives of Abraham, Job, Joseph, David…the list goes on and on. Read the book of Hebrews, chapter 11 and meditate on what perseverance will produce and then be one who perseveres. If you will decide to persevere you WILL receive the promise and you will not be disappointed, we have God’s word on it. God says, ‘it about perseverance’ and I believe this is a word for me, personally, and for many of you…let’s persevere.
Prayer for today: Father, Your word says we have need of patience, so that after we do the will of God, we may inherit the promise. Thank You for the strength to endure. Thank You for Your faithfulness to us. Thank You for the ability to outlast our enemy in and through You. In Jesus’ Name. AMEN