Add Perseverance (Season 12, Episode 6)

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Add Perseverance (Season 12, Episode 6)

In this season, we’re discussing Peter’s admonition to add to your faith (2 Peter 1:5-11).

One of the qualities are are to add to our faith is perseverance. In this episode, we discuss what this is, what it looks like with and without faith, and how we go about adding it to our faith.

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When Life Is Hard

Two Women Praying

At the beginning of his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul provided a glimpse into the difficulties he faced in his life: “For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life” (2 Corinthians 1:8). Most or all of the hardships that Paul faced were due to his work in preaching the gospel.

There can be many reasons why we face hardships in life – not just for preaching as was the case with Paul. Yet even when we suffer for other reasons, these hardships can cause us to feel the same way as Paul described.

When we face hardships in life, the specific way in which we handle them depends a lot on the nature of the hardships (financial problems, personality conflicts, health issues, difficult temptations, etc.). However, there are some principles that will apply to all types of hardships. These are important to remember, especially if we are not yet sure what specific course of action we should take.Continue Reading

You Have Need of Endurance

Running

Oxford Dictionary defines endurance as the fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way. Thayer defines the Greek word that is translated endurance in our English Bibles this way: “not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings.”

Endurance is a characteristic we must have as Christians. But why is it so important? In this article, we are going to consider a few passages that explain why we need endurance as Christians. In these verses, we will notice a few English words (endurance, patience, perseverance), yet these are all from the same Greek word. So let us consider the reasons why we need endurance.
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How to Handle the Trials of Life

Stress

Everyone faces trouble in life. But for the Christian, it is important that we know how to handle the trials that we will encounter in a way that will please God.

The apostle Paul is an example of one who had many struggles in this life. His suffering was such that he told the brethren in Corinth, “I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31) and that he was “in danger every hour” (1 Corinthians 15:30). In his second letter to these brethren he spoke of the suffering he faced for the cause of Christ – labors, imprisonments, beatings, shipwrecks, and more (2 Corinthians 11:23-29). When he wrote to the brethren in Philippi, he mentioned that there were times in which he was “going hungry” and “suffering need” (Philippians 4:12).

How was Paul able to handle all of this? He told the Philippians, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

As we face trials in this life, we can handle them as Paul did – through Christ. But what exactly does this mean? In practical terms, what must we do to overcome these hardships? What does God provide to aid us in our efforts? What attitude must we have to be successful in dealing with the trials of life? To answer these questions, we must look to the word of God.
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“What Am I Still Lacking?”

Jesus and the Rich Young Ruler

When we begin reading the account of the rich young ruler who came to Jesus (Matthew 19:16-22), we read of one who seemed to be a good man with a good attitude who showed a lot of promise in becoming a disciple of Christ. Notice the good qualities we are told about this man:

  1. He was spiritually minded – He was interested in eternal life and came to Jesus in order to find out how to obtain it (Matthew 19:16).
  2. He was religious – When Jesus listed some of the commandments that he needed to keep, the young man said, “All these things I have kept” (Matthew 19:20).
  3. He was interested in improving his service to God – After affirming that he had been keeping the commandments that Jesus mentioned, he asked, “What am I still lacking?” (Matthew 19:20).

Unfortunately, despite the promise that he showed initially, in the end he “went away grieving” (Matthew 19:22), presumably because he was unwilling to do what Jesus told him to do – sell his possessions, give to the poor, and follow Him (Matthew 19:21).

We need to be like the rich young ruler in the sense that we desire to grow and improve our service to God. However, unlike the rich young ruler, we must also be willing to do the work that is necessary to improve or fix what is lacking in our lives.

We might ask the same question as this man: “What am I still lacking?” Let us notice some things that might be lacking in our service to God so we can see the areas in which we may need to improve.
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How to Keep Doing Good

Young man thinking

James wrote, “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). It is obviously important that we know what God expects of us. But sometimes we know what is right yet, for whatever reason, we do not do it. James plainly said that this is sin. Whether it is due to weakness, forgetfulness, or willful rebellion, we are too often guilty of doing things we ought not to do.

What are we to do about this? Should we give up and surrender to the devil? No! We are to “resist the devil” (James 4:7). Should we be content in sin? Absolutely not! “How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:2). We are to work to “lay aside every…sin which so easily entangles us” (Hebrews 12:1), no matter how large or small, common or rare.

With the devil and his servants trying to discourage us and make us fall, how do we keep the faith and continue to do what is right?
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Rest for the Weary

Tree

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

This is the great invitation that has been offered by Jesus. He offers the invitation and makes the promise to those who will come: “You will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29).
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