Monday, August 15, 2022

Giving Perseverance and Encouragement

Giving Perseverance and Encouragement 
by David Brenneman 

Was reading in Romans 15 this morning and came across that in verse. "Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another, according to Christ Jesus, so that with one purpose and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Verses 5&6 NASB. 

I was just about immediately taken to a movie.  I believe it was "Facing the Giants".

The coach was making a point with a key player on the team. He had him go the length of the football field with a man on his back, while blindfolded.  He was getting him to see his importance as a leader of the team. 

The player had promised to give him his all, his everything.

We, when we came to Christ for salvation, did the same thing.  We promised to give our all with all of our being.  

But then life begins to happen soon afterwards.  We probably don't see it right away but we start to wane at our commitment. 

Read the wording of that passage again.

It says "God gives perseverance and encouragement".  In the last week, the blog posts of the Church we attended have been going through a mini-study on Perseverance.  

An example to me of perseverance was certainly my Mom's Dad, my Grandfather. 

The life he lived was indeed very long.  Born in 1901, he saw it all.  He grew up before cars. He saw the inventions we take for granted happen.  He saw the flourishing of the country go right down into the Great Depression and he came out the other side.  Saw both World Wars happen. Saw Korea and Vietnam War happen.  He lived through so many heavy times.  On the day he went home to be with Jesus, he showed us all why. He was found with his Bible.  

We have an over-sensationalized culture. The media loves to ramp up news stories to get the effects that political parties want out of people. This isn't encouraging at all. It's meant to keep people off balance mentally.  It contributes towards our faltering in the faith. Perseverance and encouragement are necessary and it must be of a kind that is beneficial and sticks with us. Only the kind that comes from God. 

Read in Psalms of King David's writing about thankfulness. 

Psalm 92 NASB "It is good to give thanks to the Lord And to sing praises to Your name, Most High; To declare Your goodness in the morning And Your faithfulness by night, With the ten-stringed lute and with the harp, With resounding music on the lyre. For You, Lord, have made me joyful by what  have done, I will sing for joy over the works of Your hands.

How great are Your works, Lord!
Your thoughts are very deep.
A stupid person has no knowledge,
Nor does a foolish person understand this:
When the wicked sprouted up like grass And all who did injustice flourished,
It was only that they might be destroyed forevermore. But You, Lord, are on high forever. For, behold, Your enemies, Lord,
For, behold, Your enemies will perish;
All who do injustice will be scattered.

But You have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox; I have been anointed with fresh oil. And my eye has looked at my enemies, My ears hear of the evildoers who rise up against me.
The righteous person will flourish like the palm tree,He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the LordThey will flourish in the courtyards of our God. They will still yield fruit in advanced age; They will be full of sap and very green, To declare that the Lord is just; He is my rock, and there is no malice in Him."

This passage also brings me to "What He's Done" by Passion Conferences.  

There's never a bad time to give thanks to Jesus for what He's done.  

As a friend loves to say God has no problems He has situations.  A problem and a situation aren't necessary the same thing. A problem can easily go to a negative connotation almost immediately in a person's mind. A situation can easily be a positive or negative or even just be neutral. A problem implies the need to seek an answer. A situation means more to the point that He always already has the answer. 

God goes perseverance and encouragement. That coach was on the ground right next to this originally half-hearted player. He was in his ear reminding him of his promise.  Reminding him that he could do this. Reminding him to trust him.  The original premise was the 50 yard line.  When he told the player he did it...he had him take off the blindfold.  He made it to the end zone.  Perseverance and encouragement when rightly applied can take us farther than we ever thought possible. 

That storm that I drove through last year. It certainly was an exercise in Jesus being an encouragement to me to persevere. Going through was the only way.

We have many things in life bombarding us for attention. Get away from it and get alone with Jesus. Get the encouragement and help you need from Him. Get those voices vying for your time, energy and effort to quiet down. Be still and know that He is God. Psalm 46:10.

Be a Mary and sit at Jesus feet.  Be the obedient sheep that stays with the Good Shepherd. Listen for the encouragement you need to persevere. 

We will indeed be tempted to take paths that don't involve pain, don't involve regrets, don't involve emotional scars.  Read what the Angels did on the night the Disciples kept falling asleep. The stood with Jesus to be an encouragement to Him.  

We are going to have difficulty in life. Proper perseverance is necessary.  Sometimes it's necessary to pace perseverance. To not just shove your way through.  I got through that storm by not going too fast or too slow. We go through the valley of the shadow of death at a pace that is set by Jesus.  I still believe it's often by the scruff of my neck but He does get us through. It's called being taught perseverance. 

We will be hit with just enough to stall our walk with Jesus. Satan will seek permission at every opportunity to get us to stall at the very least.  To get us to be the ones to turn from the path that's our first best destiny in Christ Jesus.  To get us to gradually convince ourselves that this other road is better than the one God's Holy Spirit put us on. 

Remember we are placed in the body of Christ just as HE sees fit.  It's us that either stays true or gives up on that calling.  It's necessary to have God-given perseverance and encouragement to stay true to our calling in Christ Jesus. 

It's highly evident that my Grandfather's long life was heavy impacted by his relationship with Jesus.  Seeing all that he did in life from horses to get around to the landing on the moon to still other things. 

We are going to need God's encouragement. We are going to need it to get back on track to where the Spirit wants us to be.  We are in this here and now for His purpose.  Not ours. We are to lift up the name of Jesus, not ourselves. Not anything mankind can devise.  

We read also in Hebrews 11 of what was accomplished by faith.  We read of so many people who accomplished great and mighty things by the God-given perseverance and encouragement they received. 

I am so thankful for what Jesus has done in my life.  Just like that coach He is always by my side encouraging me to persevere. To keep going even though I collapse because of my sins at times. When I can't see the end from the beginning. When life isn't making sense. 

Toby Mac had a song called Move. I tend to listen to it when perseverance is necessary to be reminded of. 

"Another heartbreak day

Feels like you're miles away
Don't even need no shade
When your sun don't shine, shine
Too many passin' dreams
Roll by like limousines
It's hard to keep believin'
When they pass you by and by
I know your heart been broke again (oh-oh-oh)
I know your prayers ain't been answered yet (oh-oh-oh)
I know you're feeling like you got nothing left
Well, lift your head, it ain't over yet, ain't over yet, so
Keep walkin', soldier keep movin' on
(Move) Keep walkin', until the mornin' comes
(Move) Keep walkin', soldier keep movin' on
And lift your head, it ain't over yet, ain't over yet"

We have an enemy that prowls around seeking someone to devour.  Seeking lives to ruin that try to live for Jesus.  

His best work is when he twists minds to think things that God's Word says aren't true.  To get us to take the easy way versus God's way.  To get us to stop n rest rather than to press on.  To do anything and everything to make us ineffective for Jesus and to make it OUR idea.

Ask Jesus to show you what you need to be seeing today.  Ask Him to be that encouraging voice you need to get through this day.  Ask Him to continue to build your faith in Him.  To walk by faith and not by sight. 

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