Enduring Faith

Persevere: To persist in or remain constant to a purpose, an idea, or a task in the face of obstacles or discouragement.

In Luke 18 Jesus used a parable to teach about perseverance. A widow was asking for justice. Someone had evidently taken advantage of her status as a widow to defraud her in some way. The judge she appealed to did not care if she received justice or not, but because she would not give up and had become an annoyance to him he saw that she received justice in her complaint. Jesus’ message was “that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.”

 

“Therefore, having been JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, we have PEACE with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we STAND, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that TRIBULATION produces PERSEVERANCE; and perseverance, CHARACTER, and character, HOPE.” (Romans 5:1-5) There is a process in these verses that results in a faith that endures to the end.

The Apostle Paul wrote these words of encouragement to the believers in Rome, and even though he had not been there yet, they knew of his perseverance, as did all the churches in the Roman Empire. We read about men and women from Genesis to Revelation who remained constant in their faith in spite of harsh conditions and seemingly hopeless circumstances. I have several shelves of books that tell of the lives of modern-day Christians who served God faithfully to the end of their lives in the situations in which God placed them. And every so often I meet a believer who does not have an easy life for one reason or another and their trust in God’s providence inspires me. And you are probably saying, “Amen.” But… do we see ourselves as inspiring others?

Edify: To instruct especially so as to encourage intellectual, moral or spiritual improvement.

We are familiar with the adage that the tests in life come for the glory of God and for our good, and that is true, but I think we shouldn’t stop there. When we trust God in the trials of life it is for the glory of God and our good, and for the guidance of others. Younger believers learn by watching us and they need to come in contact with older Christians facing the challenges of everyday life with a faith that is consistent with what Jesus taught…not just read it in a book or see it in a movie. How rare is that these days? Older believers become weary and jaded with all that is happening in the world and need an infusion of youthful joy in their lives. Sometimes just good conversation with a cup of tea is more edifying than the best that internet and television programs have to offer.

Persevering faith is a faith that endures. It is a faith that not only sustains us and glorifies God, but it is a faith that shines light on the path for others.