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Perseverance And Endurance-Part III

Perseverance And Endurance-Part III
    Persevering and Enduring
    We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-5 (NKJV)
    Weve been looking at a series of devotionals that deal with our ability to handle the tough times we will all eventually face in our life. Those times of testing, trials and tribulation; times of affliction and of persecution where we may be tempted to flee, freak out, or crumble in a lack of faith because of what we are facing.
    In Part III of this series we will look at why we should press on during times of affliction. We will see the benefits of what God is doing in our lives when we endure these difficult periods.
    I remember my wife and I buying a fixer-upper house a few years back, and it needed just about everything. The roof was shot, the paint gone, the electrical wasnt good, all of the flooring was trashbut we loved the character of the home. So we purchased it, and we began a great work. Many thousands of dollars later, and many man-hours of labor and gallons of sweat, we were finished.
    We stood back and looked upon the home and it was amazing how it had been transformed. It wasnt even the same house that we started with. So too, we as Christians were just like that broken down house that needed so much work. This process started once we accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. And that which He has started, He will finish. The Apostle Paul tells us in the scripture above that we can even rejoice in our times of tribulation, knowing that these times will produce changes in us. These changes are shaping us into the image of Jesus Christ.
    And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6 (NLT)
    Ive said it before; we need to think of ourselves as an individual Mt. Rushmore. As we go through each test we face, each trial we endure, and each storm of tribulation, it is like God, The Master Sculptor is breaking away all of the things of the world that have become a part of us. He is chiseling away, and taking off chips, and even chunks during each of these times. When he is finished, we will see ourselves as He does--a glorious image of His Son.
    But we need to know that we must be patient during this shaping process. It can be painful. It will bring discomfort. It will bring a level of humbleness that we didnt think wed ever reach. It will strip away everything that we thought we were made of. But it cannot be done without the tough trials in our life, because this is how God chooses to make those changes in us.
    When we face the cold times of adversity, and the hot times of tribulation, it will cause us to dig even deeper into the Word of God, so that we may be rooted solidly while being shaped.
    We shouldnt just rejoice in our times of rest and refreshment. We should rejoice even during the times that are the hardest.
    It just may be that God is using you in the lives of others as they watch you endure and persevere. Their faith is strengthened as you continue to walk in faith even though they can plainly see that you are walking through difficult situations. As you proclaim your victory right in the midst of the battle, you are reflecting a very bright light to a very dark world. This light is Gods truth manifested by your applied faith as you rejoice and shout, I trust you Lord!
    I want to encourage you during these times to remember that the Lord is walking through this with you. He has endured every bit of the hardships you have endured. He knows and appreciates how hard it is. He will never leave you or forsake you. And He has a perfect plan to guide you through each situation. Seek Him today for every situation you face. Seek the wisdom of His Word. Apply the principles learned within the Word to your life, and stand your ground with the power of the Holy Spirit.
    Hey Christian, God has something very special for you when youre done. Well take a look at that in our next message.
    STUDY QUESTION: Why should we continue to endure and persevere according to the scriptures at the top of the page? What confidence can we glean from Philippians 1:6?
    PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to allow God to continue to shape you through the trials, tests, afflictions and temptations you are facing?
    APPLICATION: Seek the Word of God and apply it. Rest in Him. Stay focused on Him. Talk to Him. Trust Him. Keep going forward, and rejoice!
    Father, Thank You for the times in my life where I have had to endure and persevere. Thank You for shaping me into the image of Christ. I know that there are times where I have complained and even murmured, and for that I am sorry. Help me to remember these things when I go through these times again. In Jesus precious name, amen&
    Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000