It is this secret assurance that gives a brightness to his look, and a gentle firmness to his tone, and a perseverance to all his efforts, which of themselves are great means of influencing those he is seeking to win.
It is not only starting of the race that is important but the completing of the course, and it takes time and it takes perseverance to run the race set before us, with patience – and it needs both effort and endeavour to lay aside all distractions and outer influences.
But that final strategic weapon is outlined in Ephesians 6 verse 18: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
Praying with all manner of prayer and entreaty. Praying to that end that we keep alert and watchful. Praying with strong purpose; patience endurance – perseverance. Praying and interceding on behalf of all the saints. Praying - Always – With – All Prayer – and Supplication – in the Spirit.
The Praying Saint
But read on in Ephesians to discover a further weapon that is little discussed: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
Deferred hope is not something that only you are facing today; it is Job – in his tempest; it is Abraham, on the long and dusty road to Moriah; it is Moses, in the blistering deserts of Midian; it is Elijah, beside the evaporating brook of Cherith. It is Habakkuk, trembling in his Shigionoth. It is the Son of Man, prostrate in the Garden of Gethsemane. There is no patience so hard to bear as hope that has been deferred. This is waiting for a delayed hope, which requires endurance, patience, perseverance.
One of the most damaging things in the realm of God's work, a thing which eventually leads to shame and confusion and much sorrow, is Natural Soul Force projected by strong-willed, determined, aggressive Christians who have not come to a spiritual state where they are able to discriminate between stubborn indomitableness, personal determination and resolution, and which is altogether another thing: spiritual grace in endurance, perseverance, and Divine in-strengthening.
Hence the need for perseverance in prayer. Hence the need for importunity in supplication. In the days of flint and steel and brimstone they needed to be struck and struck.. again and again – dozens of times, before a spark would light up the tinder box.
Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings....continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them.
He explains that having been eternally saved by grace, we should glory in the trials and tribulations of life, which God uses to develop in us perseverance; a godly character and an unshakable and eternal hope in the loving promises of God
All that is evil is of the devil and all that is good is of God and so God will never tempt a man to sin, for God hates sin and cannot look upon sin – but God will often use temptation in a man’s life to test his faith, patience and perseverance - and the one that endures the test will glorify God.
His letter implies that many were facing deep financial hardship as well as severe persecution for their faith and so he encouraged his brothers and sisters in Christ to consider it real joy when they encountered various trials and hardships – because the testing of their faith produced perseverance, steadfastness and patient endurance.
How similar the days in which we live mirror the days about which James was writing and the lesson that they were to learn is one that we need to fully understand and apply, if we are to resist the temptation of Satan, which seeks to shipwreck our faith - and consider it as a God-given opportunity to produce in us perseverance, steadfastness and patient endurance.
Not only do the glories of our justification result in peace with God, a firm standing in God's grace, and a rejoicing hope in Him, but we can allow His peace to reign in our hearts so that we can even exult in our tribulations, knowing the trials of life and the difficulties we endure bring about perseverance which develops strength of character and a solid hope in the Lord.
The letter to the church in Thyatira is no exception and despite being commended for their love, faith, service, and perseverance, church members are fiercely rebuked for permitting sexual immorality to infiltrate the body of Christ, admonished for embracing other pagan practices, and challenged to change their ways.
This time his instruction is not about maintaining patience throughout our earthly life, but is an exhortation to run a race of persistent perseverance to the very end of our life, until the coming of the Lord!
We are to knock with patient endurance and steadfast perseverance; we are to knock with confidence and humility even when life's circumstances seem to test our faith and sap our strength.
And even when God’s presence seems very far removed from us, we are to knock and knock and keep on knocking, for the testing of our faith develops perseverance, and such endurance must finish its work within, so that we become mature and complete, lacking nothing, as we tightly cling to His all-sufficient grace.
Should we not be willing exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance, and perseverance, proven character, and proven character, hope? - and hope in Christ NEVER disappoints.
And so along with their faith, he encouraged them to diligently seek after moral excellent, self-control, perseverance and godliness in all they said and did, so that their lives could be a mirror of Christ’s own character… so that they could be a reflection of His brotherly kindness and godly love.
Let us treasure the things of the Lord, and unrelentingly pursue after righteousness and godliness, faith and love, perseverance and gentleness, humility of heart and joy in the Lord - for when our treasure is rooted and grounded in Jesus, then our heart will be anchored to the Rock of our eternal Salvation.
Peter's heart desire was to establish believers in the gospel of Christ so that we diligently add virtue to our faith and supplement our virtue with moral character; perseverance; godliness; kindliness and brotherly love..
In his enthusiasm to share the good news of the gospel of grace, Paul not only reminds us about justification by grace through faith and the hope that we have in Christ, but he adds, and not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance.
Paul then explains that tribulation brings about perseverance - while perseverance develops a proven character - and godly character brings about hope.
He also urges us ‘to pray at all times in the Spirit’ – and with this in view… ‘to be on the alert’ and to ‘pray with all perseverance’ as we intercede for other believers and petition the Lord on behalf of the lost.
for your perseverance and faith, in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions, which you endure.
And so he wrote, therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you, among the churches of God, for your perseverance and faith..
The endurance they displayed in the midst of reprehensible oppression and numerous trials, was a testimony to their patience, perseverance, and faith.
Paul wanted to remind them that the Christian life is not an easy thing, but lovingly commended them for their perseverance in the midst of the deep distress they were going through - and so he wrote, therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions, which you endure.
These three illustrations of godly living: the soldier in the battlefield, the athlete in the race, and the farmer in his endeavours, pictured those with great perseverance, strength of character, and a determination to keep on keeping on in the midst of great personal challenges and life's inevitable hardships.
Paul wanted Timothy (and us) to understand the importance of perseverance in the face of deep difficulties and patient endurance when beset by those that are hostile toward us.
before his death, Paul reminds Timothy to keep running with perseverance the Christian race set before him, to preach the God-breathed Word and to stand fast and patiently endure, by grace through faith - as he waits expectantly for the return of the Lord.
Let us be those that run with perseverance the race set before us as we preach the word and patiently endure the trials of life, by grace through faith.