You Can Persevere

High demands are placed on people today. The higher the demands, the more often people give up. Some young people quit their studies. Many are unable to meet the demands of a professional life. Athletes drop out because they can’t achieve the expected performance. 

Many people do not persevere in their faith, although Jesus says: “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). John states in 1 John 5:3, “His commandments are not burdensome.” Can we agree with this assertion? Don’t we sometimes find it extremely difficult to walk in the will of the Lord? Did John perhaps have it easier than we do? No! He calls himself “a brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ” (see Revelation 1:9). He was banished to the desert island of Patmos for the sake of the Word of God. Who can say what he suffered? We can only admire him when he says: “His commandments are not burdensome.”

Who can compare themselves with the three men who were thrown into the fiery furnace? Can any of us compare ourselves with Daniel, who was thrown to the lions because of his faithfulness to God? Nevertheless, we see people giving up on serving God today. John also writes of many who were annoyed by Jesus’ preaching and therefore no longer walked with Him. Over the years, many have stopped serving God and probably thought they had a good reason for doing so.

It is no different today. We repeatedly hear the comment, “I can’t put up with this any longer.” People give up because they feel the church is not growing or they don’t like the pastor and the sermon, or the pastor and staff are uneducated, etc. 

But tell me, who actually called you, and in whose service do you stand? Did the church give you salvation? Are you in the service of the pastor, or are you in the service of God? Paul testifies: “He [Christ] died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but to Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:15).

People give up for the smallest reasons because they are not solidly grounded. It is so easy to blame others for your own failures! The other person is not the problem, but the cause of failure and giving up lies with you! An intimate relationship and love for God is missing. Prayer and the right attitude towards God’s Word are neglected. If no deep foundation has been laid, the result is a quick exit.

When John says: “His commandments are not burdensome,” he also substantiates this statement. The whole verse reads: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” Keeping the commandments is not difficult if love is our motivation! Those who have the right attitude of heart can persevere!

In Matthew 24:12-13, a dark and light side of following Jesus is shown. Jesus predicts tribulations and joy. Injustice will prevail, and love will grow cold – that is the dark side. This is about the injustice that arises where love has grown cold. In other words, injustice among God’s people! In Matthew 10:21-22, Jesus makes this even clearer: “Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.”

The darkest circumstances are revealed; but the victorious perseverance and endurance are also emphasized. You and I can persevere! This is possible through the power of the Lord. That is the light side! Paul tells us about “a messenger of Satan to buffet me” (2 Corinthians 12:7). This talks about the powers of darkness that assailed him. He pleaded with God and received the reassuring answer: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (verse 9).

You too can persevere if you make the same resolution as the apostle: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). If you start with this resolution and persevere in faith, you can reach the goal and be saved. You can, because He, our Lord, can! Therefore, put new faith in the promises of God. Persevere in this, and you will reach the highest goal of all: the salvation of your soul!

Friedrich Krebs

Edmonton, AB

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