Faith Calls for Perseverance
Key Verse: “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised).”
AS WE PROGRESS IN THE school of Christ and meditate on life’s experiences, both the joys and the sorrows, we should become stronger in the Lord and in the power of his might, desiring more and more to serve him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23) In our lesson, it is evident that Paul was energized by the message of God’s Word, which gave him inner peace, and which was the basis of his relationship with the Heavenly Father through Christ. We have the same favors of God, the same promises of God, the same inspiring hopes that Jesus and the Apostles had. Paul’s inward man had the assurance of the Lord that the glories of the future would be proportionate to the trials of the present, faithfully endured. We should also hold our confidence in the Lord steadfast to the end. “We are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.”—Heb. 3:14
Our desire should be that we continue to serve God with our whole heart. “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” (I Pet. 5:7-10) All in the school of Christ must come to appreciate that the trials of the present, and those still to come upon them, are manifestations of divine favor. For this reason, the allurements of this world are not for those who strive to walk in the Lord’s footsteps, and their temptations must be resisted.—I Cor. 1:27,28; Luke 16:13
We will have many tests to show our degree of loyalty toward God. These will continually come throughout our Christian walk. Therefore, we must hold fast to the glorious truth not only in letter—words and actions—but also in spirit—character and disposition. An important part of our perseverance is that of having the humble attitude shown in Paul’s words concerning himself: “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:13,14) We must focus our energy upon the things that will draw us closer to God. This includes striving to keep our hearts and minds full of the precious gems found in God’s holy Word. “Whatsoever things are true, … honest, … just, … pure, … lovely, … of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”—chap. 4:8
A consideration of the importance of perseverance is not complete without mentioning the role of the great privilege of prayer. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” (Eph. 6:18) A child of God must have an active prayer life that includes praying for help and guidance, and watching with a determination to be faithful to God in all things.