Tuesday, 9 September 2014

CAN YOU ENDURE THIS

What is the essence of our walk with The Lord? It’s about patience, endurance and waiting.  Waiting on The Lord is a massive part of our relationship with Him.  There is always something to wait on but the biggest thing we are waiting for is Jesus coming back.

Imagine a marathon runner preparing for a race who gives up each time the road gets a little tough, he will never be able to make it to the end, he has to build up his road time and push through the pain barrier to endure the race to the finish line. An athlete can’t afford to give up each time the road gets tough or the hill gets hard to climb.  He has to keep pushing through; keep putting one foot forward at a time. When we go to the gym, we won’t see results unless we exercise our muscles.  Just like our physical muscles, our spiritual muscles can get weary and need a fresh anointing and fellowship.  We will have twists and turns and at times we will be hot other times cool; sometimes we will hear from God clearly every day yet sometimes we will say where is he; I can’t hear him, but he is still there; he is always there and if we seek him he will be found by us (Deuteronomy 4:29).  Just like the song says, One day at a time sweet Jesus, That’s all I'm asking of you.  We need to press forward and by faith endure to the end

God’s work on earth is done by man.  It can’t be done by someone with no faith.  There is a direct link between our faith and endurance and that link is the test.  Our faith will have to go through an endurance test to produce patience and work.  We will have to endure to finish the job in order to pass the test. Too many people say I wish I had your faith; we want to have it without doing anything but to whom much is given, much is required.  We look at others and yearn for their level of faith but we don’t know the struggles and endurance they experienced to get to that level. The level of faith we have has a direct correlation to what we can do.  The Bible teaches us that even if we have a mustard seed of faith we can tell the mountain to move and it will move (Luke 17:6).  If our faith is in the things and people of the world then our success will only be temporary but by faith the righteous live and will have eternal life (Hebrews 10:38).  If our trust is not in The Lord it is in something else and we will have no hope for the future. The world will dupe us into believing that our hope lies in man but God’s word teaches us that cursed is the man who trust in man and makes flesh his strength (Jeremiah 17:10) but blessed are those whose trust is in The Lord (Jeremiah 17:17).  The Lord will bless us just for trusting him during our trials and tests.  He will reward us for our endurance and patience and will fight on our behalf and win the battles for us (2 Chronicles 2:1-19).

How we spend our time waiting will determine how our faith grows and the level of our faith will determine how far we advance during the waiting period.  God’s word teaches us that those who wait upon The Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will not grow weary, they will walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).  This tells us that the waiting period is a process of strengthening and it’s important how we use that period because Jesus can come back at any time.  When he comes he needs us to be prepared and ready for what he has for us.  The waiting period is a preparation process; it’s a testing of our faith period.  During the waiting period we will be tested and tried; we will be put through our paces and have hurdles to get over. Sometimes we will go through situations, separations, circumcision and hardship and these can seem like trouble but in the midst of these God is still with us because he promises never to leave us and he is not man that he can lie (Hebrews 13:5 & Numbers 23:19).  Faith requires action and in order to overcome these tests and hurdles we will need to exercise our faith and trust in God (James 2:14-26).  Our faith has to be tested, it has to do work and anything that has to do work has to be prepared and strengthened for it. Faith and endurance works together.  It’s impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6).  Our faith has to be tested in order to be prepared for where God wants to propel us.

When God commanded us to be strong and courageous, it wasn't just our physical strength he was referring to but our emotional, mental and spiritual strength; it is to develop our character.  David was tested, tried and prepared in the back side of a mountain.  He relied on God to strengthen him to defeat the lions and bears and was rewarded with the Spirit of God to defeat Goliath.  Joseph was thrown in a pit by his brothers.  He was left cold, hungry and afraid but he endured and The Lord rewarded him (Genesis 37).  God will use our endurance to propel us from the pit to the palace. 

God wants his people to be people of character and not just fall wearily.  He will use our tests and endurance to refine and strengthen us (Psalm 66:10).  It is his desire to give to us all that he has (John 10:10).  When our faith is tested and we endure the trials we will be refined and emerge stronger than before (Luke 48:10).  On this journey of waiting on the Lord we are racing to get to glory but the race is not for the swift but for those who can endure (Ecclesiastes 9:11).  The journey is about resilience against the powers of darkness; it’s about the pulling down of strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4); it’s about our prayers, belief, faith and hope.  Between prayers and manifestation there’s endurance and endurance produces patience and patience builds faith and faith pleases God (Romans 5:3-6).  

People of character, though they face trials their endurance always propels them to the next stage.  Jeremiah’s faith and endurance was being tested; God was preparing him for the things to come but he got caught up in the events and forgot the purpose but throughout his testing, God never left him and reminded him of the plans he had for him (Book of Jeremiah).  In times of trouble if we place our hope in man we will be weak but if our hope is in the Lord we will have an abundance of strength not only for ourselves but for others also.  God will use our experience and strength to build others up in his kingdom.  He blesses those who patiently endure testing (James 1:12).  In the waiting period we will be tempted but the temptation is not of God (James 1:13).  Temptation comes from our own weakness but God will give us the strength to withstand the temptation if we trust and rely on him to bring us through (Book of Job). When we are waiting and being tested we have a choice; we can either choose to die in the wait and test or live in our faith. Our faith will allow God to fight our fight for us. If we draw close to God in our testing times he will draw close to us (James 4:8 & 10).  

When The Lord is our hope and confidence we will flourish, we can endure all things (Philippians 4:13) because his joy will be our strength.  This does not mean we will not have to face tough situations but in God we will remain standing and not fall.  Our endurance is a time to prove God.  When we are facing tests and trails, people will be watching to see how we get through, how we endure.  How we exercise our faith will prove God to them.  The three Hebrew boys stood on their faith and endure the fire and God got into the fire with them and rescued them in front of their foes (Daniel 3),  Our test is a chance to build our endurance and faith (James 1:2-4) and in the process we magnify The Lord and raise up his name.

No matter what we are going through, whether its loneliness, heartache, financial strain, loss, whatever it is God is with us and he is waiting on us to exercise our faith.  He is waiting on us to call on him. Prayers, belief, faith and hope will touch the heart of God and he will give us the strength for the journey.  He will lift us up and plant our feet on solid ground.

He endured the cross so that we can endure the journey.


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