Posted by: Pastor J Jacobs on Wed, Jan 3, 2018
2017 was very challenging and I'm not sure I can endure any more. How can I best position myself for success in 2018?" The best way is to keep your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. The word "endure" is often used negatively; as though its only meaning is that of putting up with pressure. Yet, the Bible demonstrates a positive meaning of this word. To "endure" is something that we can all do 'actively'; rather than something that we simply put up with, 'passively'. Endurance tells of the power and ability to remain strong under difficulty. Endurance is an active, positive, ongoing process that eventually brings about the desired rewards. It is entirely active and positive - with desired, obtainable goals in view.
The writer of Hebrews has something encouraging to say about endurance: "Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus" (the 'desired, obtainable goal') "who, for the joy set before him, endured the cross; scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." It says that Jesus: ' for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross'.
Note, there is just one source of true joy, and that is, obedience to the Father's will. "For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise"(Hebrews 10:36). Receiving the promise requires endurance! This is where many of us fall down.
We think that having done the will of God is enough in itself! But that isn't what this verse is saying! It clearly says,
We have need for endurance; so that, AFTER we have done the will of God, we may receive His promise.
There is a time period both "before" and "after" we have done the will of God that involves endurance (perseverance). Notice that it doesn't say, "until you have fulfilled the will of God," which is a process. It says, "done the will of God" - which is an action! Every time we act to "do" God's will it requires endurance! Both before and after!
When Jesus endured hostility, He was in the perfect will of God. Yet, for the joy set before Him He even went to the cross and suffered the shame! He endured beforehand and during His crucifixion! But then there was a time period that went by before He sat down at the right hand of God (before He received the promise). Jesus had to first endure separation from His Father and be taken into the pit of hell; only then could He sit down at the right hand of God! So what was the key to the Lord's incredible ability to endure throughout? It was the JOY set before Him. The vision of achieving His divine goal! It was the one thing that He was totally focused on! It's the same with you and me. Have you set "joy" before you for 2015? Do you have a God-given goal for this year? If you have, it will be the best year you have ever had!
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