Sunday, September 16, 2012

Life of Perseverance

This Sunday Devotional is shared by:   Reba Altizer for Rural Women Rock. Thanks Reba for sharing.  This wonderful print was gathered from:  Peggy apl  Seeds...

Life of Perseverance
 I was praying about what to write this week and the Lord dropped perseverance  in my heart. Then He took me to a scripture in James.

James 1:2-4  The Message (MSG)  Faith Under Pressure
 2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

 I've been thinking about the times in my own life when I grow the most in my walk with the Lord.   They are times when the pressure is "on" or when I am put in a place where I have to produce. I was reading "The true measure of a women" by Lisa Bevere this week. She said something in her book that really stuck with me.

"It is the truth we live, not the truth we know, that sets us free." ~ Lisa Bevere

 I can know that  "I should" or that "I need to" but unless I decide to do it with Gods help, I will not see the freedom or the blessings He promises for my life.

 When I hear the word perseverance, I think things are getting ready to get harder.  That is because I am looking to my flesh to get through a situation, or I am dealing with circumstances that make me think I am going to have to fix something.

 Definition of : per·se·ver·ance  (pûrs-vîrns) n.

 1. Steady persistence in adhering to a course of action, a belief, or a purpose; steadfastness.

 2. Christianity, The Calvinistic doctrine that those who have been chosen by God will continue in a state of grace to the end and will finally be saved.

 I heard a speaker share once on what it takes to stay in the race.  He said three things I have went back to many times in my life.

 A.Have the bite of a bulldog-  when a bulldog bites down on something he can breath from the side of his mouth and keep his hold for a long time.

 B. Have a back like a duck- so that whatever comes at you just slides off -don't get bitter or let unforgiveness in your life.

 C. Have a limp in your step- meaning keep humble and don't let pride take hold in your life.

 The Goal is not to just survive in our life but to Thrive! These are some points personally that have worked in my life. Not just Knowing it, but living it is the challenge we all face.  I encourage you to read each one of the scriptures, and put your name in it to make it more personal.

I. Steadfast in His grace through the rough time2 Corinthians 12:9
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

 Philippians 4: 12-13
 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation . . . . I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

2 Thessalonians 3:3
But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.

 Isaiah 40:29
He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.

 1 Peter 5: 10
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

 II. Trust in His Grace to see you through
 Galatians 6:9
The Message (MSG) 9-10 So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.

 III. Don't quit! Encourage yourself and stay grateful- stay in the race
 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
 The Message (MSG)
 16-18 Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.

 1 Peter 1:6-7
 The Message (MSG)
 6-7 I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.

 There are many excellent scriptures for each one of these points.  The important thing is being hungry enough to find the promises to be claimed in the Word. God is a personal God.  He loves us and wants to see us walk through to the other side of where we are into victory. We have to live it not just know it!

Amen Sister ~ Kasse D.

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