What does it take to be a winner in life? Since life is often difficult, perseverance is needed to see us through. We easily forget that during all the ups and downs of life we are actually soldiers in an elite army. Perseverance is a marvelous principle. It is a “dig in” kind of word, reminding us that we have to dig deep trenches to withstand Satan’s attacks.
Friends, because we have a terrible and determined enemy we are enlisted as part of the army of God. “Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.” 2 Tim 2:3 Serving in the Christian army is required duty with priority over other demands. However, let us be encouraged that our trials and service are meant to give something to us not take from us. They are able, when looked at from Gods perspective, to teach us joy. Joy in embracing God’s plan and purpose for us. We must stop fighting His call and respond to Him as our superior officer. It’s amazing to see how perseverance as well as submission to authority causes real growth and maturity. “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:4
No matter what we are experiencing we can overcome through a complete commitment to our commander-in-chief. We have persevered when we lay down our life before Christ willing even to die for Him. “And they overcame him because of the blood of the lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death.” Rev 12:11 The apostle Peter assures us that God’s ways are effective and rewarding. “So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though the going is rough for a while down here. These trials are only to test your faith, to see whether or not it is strong and pure… so if your faith remains strong after being tried in the test tube of fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day of his return.” 1 Peter 1:6,7 Friends, let us focus on persevering and overcoming till Jesus returns. We are the people who keep on, keep at it, and keep going. Perseverance will take us all the way home.
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Persevere in Thankfulness
Persevere in Thankfulness
“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord” Psalms 92:1 In just a few days we will greet the annual Thanksgiving Day. From the lowly to the world’s acclaimed each has a heartfelt need to thank God. Eternity is not long enough to say thank you. May we each then partake in the practice of ceaseless praise. Milo H. Gates tells us the significance of being thankful. “The finest test of character is seen in the amount and the power of gratitude we have.”
Gratitude or gratefulness are amazing words. They are the springs of water that satisfy thirsty souls. They are a recognition of our appreciation and indebtedness to our most Holy God. 1 Chronicles 23:30 fills in between the lines and makes a powerful case for giving thanks. “Yours is the mighty power and glory and victory and majesty. Everything in the heavens and earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything. Riches and honor come from you alone, and you are the Ruler of all mankind, you hand controls power and might and it is at your discretion that men are made great and given strength. O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name.” For all that I give thanks nothing is greater than the certainty that God loves me. As a child I sang these beloved words. “I am so glad that our Father in Heav’n, Tells of His love in the book He gas giv’n. Wonderful things in the Bible I see, This is the dearest, that Jesus loves me.” God loves me at all times and in all situations. He loves me when I am sad, mad or glad. There is no end to the love of God.
As we celebrate this Thanksgiving, may our hearts turn to the only lover of men’s souls. Today, let us joyfully profess our thankfulness to God. “Now thank we all our God with heart and hand and voices. Who wondrous things hath done in whom His world rejoices.” Catherine Winkworth May this year truly be a blessed remembrance time as we gather together to give thanks to God.
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Hello friends, we are in the wonderful “count your blessings” holiday season. It is always time to recall our blessings but Thanksgiving brings a double measure of remembering. Charles Dickens once wrote “Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many, not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some.” For the believer, our blessings are so remarkable it is difficult to adequately express them. However, Psalms 103:3-5 unfolds a clear record of some of these blessings. “Yes, I will bless the Lord and not forget the glorious things he does for me. He forgives all my sins. He heals me. He ransoms me from hell. He surrounds me with lovingkindness and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things.”
Of all the blessings in a person’s life none is as wonderful as the blessedness of forgiveness. Salvation from sin is a gift of such value that we could never cease thanking God for this blessing. From the depths of a grateful heart we join the Psalmist in saying, “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” Ps 103:1 Spirit, soul and body unite to bless the Lord. Miracle of miracles that crimson sins can be made whiter than snow. On one tombstone was written simply Forgiven. Each believer once again bows down in humility. We will always know the reason for loving and serving our great God. As we consider every blessing we possess let us remember from whom they come. “How we praise God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every blessing in heaven because we belong to Christ.” Eph 1:3 Just think, we can bless God by praising Him. God gives us blessings too many to count, showering us with the riches of His grace.
Time and again we discover it is only the blessings of God that truly enrich a life. “The Lord’s blessings is our greatest wealth. All our work adds nothing to it.” Prov 10:22 As we enter the holiday season will you join me in this sweet yet powerful benediction? Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Click here to read a great poem of thanks.
Friends, how many of you believe that life can be good? At times we can lose this belief. Being human we need so much encouragement. But I believe our greater need is for a desperate dependance on the only person who can bring to the table exactly what we desire. God’s inspirational life begins when we learn to live supernaturally through Christ.
The first step in receiving help is coming to a place where our willfulness ends. What a blessed trial that brings us to our knees, to a place of brokenness. In these moments we come to the end of ourselves, our own personal strength and resources. It is there we find Jesus ready to step in and to our overwhelming joy we see that where we end Jesus just begins. There is a much better resource for coping with struggles than relying on our own strength. The one who doesn’t know Christ can reach God through his conscience. For those of us who do know him, our resources are found in a personal relationship with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. “Where does my help come from, from the Lord who made heaven and earth.” Psalms 121:2 Ephesians 1:19 tells us the extent of that help. “I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great his power is to help those who believe him. It is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead.” So we find our strength in who Jesus is. He is waiting to be our all in all. You can have as much of Jesus, as much help as you want. He is available for friendship, for counseling, for comfort, for personally caring for you. He brings the inspiration. Every area is open to His involvement. Nothing is closed from Jesus’ help. Go to Him. From the things we might consider trite to the trials that knock us over. Jesus is complete.
This is the plan of God to have this perfect, strong God-man as our constant companion. With him we say, “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our inner strength in the Lord is growing every day (count on it). So we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles all round us, but we look forward to the joys in heaven which we have not yet seen. The troubles will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.” II Cor 4:16-18 How the picture changes when you live with Jesus, in the very presence of Jesus. We change. We have been tested and have found it is only because of the strength of Jesus that we can be true to the living Lord. We are not seeking religion but the inspirational life of God lived out within us.
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