Perseverance By Sue Darling
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
Many Christians are taught to follow Jesus your life will be good to you. That you won't have any major tragedies to contend with. They are lying of course. We are in a sinful world. The world favours the sinful, not the honest. God brings great glory to His children that are prepared to pick up their cross and follow Jesus. To follow Jesus with your cross will lead you to Calvary of sorts. It will never be as hard as what Jesus had to face for our sins, but it is going to test your faith and trust in Him. People will long for their crosses to end, but the faithful will keep going. That is where and when God will see who really belong to Him. You need to pray, pray and keep on praying to be faithful in these trials. You can't do it alone.
When I look back at my life I can see that in my early twenties I received many great favours from God. Some might be even jealous because they don't understand if God gives you favours it is usually during and or at the end of great trials endured faithfully for God. The problem with human nature we have this strong tendencies to want something for nothing. We want to do everything without effort and have great results. In other words we all would like to travel by the wide and easy path that Jesus warns that leads to hell. Only the Remanent Church is going to stick to the straight and narrow road that leads to eternal life. And the only way to travel on the straight and narrow road is going to be so hard, that you have to pray without ceasing. Jesus tells us to prayer for perseverance. You also will have to make sure you have a real loving relationship with God. Meaning you really can talk to Him as loving Child of His. It may take practise but it is sure worth it.
Many and many Christians in this time in history are receiving great favours from God. I am positive most of them know what it is like to be tested beyond their natural abilities to endure. They survived it for a number of reasons. One they didn't let go of hope in Jesus's love for them. Hope is so very important and I believe I have only heard two or maybe three sermons talking about the importance of hope in my life. The second and third reason is they put their faith and trust in what they couldn't see with their physical eyes but put their trust and faith and hope in the promises of Our Lord. If you don't really love God you are not going to put any real effort in being true and faithful to Him. As we all know love can turn to hate and therefor praying for all the graces you are going to need to remain faithful throughout your trials cannot be expressed strong enough. It is so vital for your survival as a Christian. You can't do it on your own. You need other good Christian friends, community, and family to support you through it. If you don't have any, I once again cannot stress the importance to ask the saints to pray on your behalf constantly, as well as talking to God to give you the support you need.
You are not alone in truth, but can you see that? If you think you are on your own you may become so depressed of your situation that you give up. All I am really saying here is that nobody should look at themselves at an island that stands alone. We all have gifts to use to help one another to stand by one another. We are called not only to pray for ourselves and love ones but for all Christians to persevere to the end and finish the race.
The bigger and the more intense and long the suffering is, often will determine how great are the spiritual rewards you will receive on earth as well as in heaven. Some people however may not see their earthly rewards until they are in heaven. I think personally they have the greatest rewards coming. An example of this a Catholic priest told me his favourite saint was somebody I can't remember his name, but was on an island for a very long time and in all that time he may only converted two people to Christianity. Then one day some people came to the island and martyr him for his faith. The people who lived on the island witness his death that he was willing to die for Jesus and then they all converted to Christ.
Just a quick mention here for those who don't know, Catholics are very much dived at the moment and the division will grow stronger, because Satan of course is doing everything in his power to destroy all God's churches, big and small. So keep your eyes open for wolves in sheep's clothing. There are many out there. After all we are in the end of the end days and it has been prophesied to us in the bible and in many other ways as well. 'By their fruits you shall know them' is what Jesus has told us. If they truly belong to God they will be willing to suffer for the truth doesn't matter what the cost is and of course they will obey God on His terms not their own. You have to ask the question are they serving God out of love for God or doing it for praise or is there another engender behind it. Are they getting something out of it for their own selfish goals? If somebody really belongs to God, they are going to resemble Jesus, some more than others. If we belong to Him we are going to speak, look and act like Jesus. The more we are like Jesus the greater the love in our hearts is felt for Him.
"Whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments."--
We need to pray for the church and everybody more than ever.
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