Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Purpose of Perseverance, By Karen Finn

The Purpose of Perseverance

By Karen Finn

Hebrews 12:2-3, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."

On a recent road trip, we experienced a variety of weather systems which made the drive to our destination more treacherous and time-consuming. It was wearisome to face a continual onslaught of sleet, snow, fog and thunderstorms, but nothing prepared me for the natural (or should I say unnatural?) disaster that delayed us more than four hours on the return trip home.

A road blockage caused by a landslide had stopped the flow of traffic, causing it to come to a standstill. We were on a major interstate highway, which limited our options for an alternative route. More than ten miles of traffic had accumulated and was painstakingly being directed through a makeshift detour, down to one lane! Ugh! There wasn't much I could do about it but suffer through it....and persevere.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is a role model for us of one who remained steadfast and focused on His Father's Will. The ultra-poignant display of perseverance is exemplified on a road as well--the road to Calvary. God's Word doesn't give us little snippets of Bible scenes which show this remarkable characteristic trait. He takes us right to the heart of the matter. He takes us to the place where a humble, obedient spirit has completely yielded itself over.

The word endured is only used twice in the New Testament Scriptures, and it is used in Hebrews 12:2-3. Jesus is the one who endured, committed to fulfilling His Father's Will, willing to suffer and die for all of mankind. That's a powerful portrayal of unconditional love, surrender and determination.

God gives us a perfect portrait of the purpose behind perseverance in the power of the Cross. Jesus, being God in the flesh, knew where He had come from (heaven) and knew where He was going (heaven). That joy awaited Him, but he knew what was first required of Him - and that was to persevere.The Greek word for endured is hupomeno, which translates into English as "to stay under (behind) or remain." Jesus was willing to remain and do His Father's Will for us, and pave the way-the only way-to everlasting joy.

Are there circumstances in your life, causing you anxiety and impatience? Do you spend each day soaking in the presence of the one who "endured" so that you could have the hope of an eternal home in heaven? How trivial our issues become when they are matched up to the magnitude of what Christ did on our behalf. We can have victory over sin because the author (originator) and finisher (completer) of our faith has paid the ultimate sacrifice and died and rose again.

As you reflect upon the Easter holy day, pray for the strength you need to persevere. May God bless you and provide you with the courage and persistence to face what's ahead... even the landslides that cause monstrous delays!


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