Note: I am posting this challenge a day early since I am sure everyone will be busy tomorrow. I am also praying it is something that may bless some of you this particular weekend!
This weekend as we celebrate Easter, have you thought about how Jesus persevered to get to the cross? He suffered more than any of us can image. He was hungry, He was beaten, He was mocked, He was tempted, He had no home to call His own, etc., etc., etc. He persevered for you and for me. He gave up His spirit willingly on the cross and died for all of our sins so that we might live and have a relationship with Him forever!
So what is perseverance? Oswald Chambers says this about perseverance "Perseverance is more than endurance. It is endurance combined with absolute assurance and certainty that what we are looking for is going to happen. Then there is the call to spiritual perseverance. A call not to hang on and do nothing, but to work deliberately, knowing with certainty that God will never be defeated." Wow! Maybe you are having difficulties at work or financial difficulties, maybe you struggle with a child at home or even an adult child, or maybe you are suffering with a long-term illness. Whatever it is, think about how Jesus persevered despite all of the persecution He received over and over again. You may not understand why you are in a certain situation or why you have suffered but if you know the Lord as your own and truly trust Him, then there is a reason and a hope to persevere!
Luke 21:19 "Stand firm, and you will win life."
1 Corinthians 10:13 "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
Galatians 6:9 "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
2 Thessalonians 3:13 "And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good."
1 Timothy 4:15-16 "Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."
2 Timothy 2:8-11 "Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with Him, we will also live with Him;"
Hebrews 12:1b-3 "let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
James 1:12 "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."
James 5:11 "As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy."
Revelation 2:3 "You have persevered and have endured hardships for My name, and have not grown weary."
And if those verses don't speak to you, you feel like giving up, or you don't think the Lord is "big enough" to help you persevere, then let's look as His attributes. He will not let you down!
The Lord's love endures forever!
Psalm 100:5 "For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations."
The Lord's renown (or fame) endures forever!
Psalm 102:12 "But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever; Your renown endures through all generations."
The Lord's glory endures forever!
Psalm 104:31 "May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in His works."
The Lord's righteousness endures forever!
Psalm 111:3 "Glorious and majestic are His deeds, and His righteousness endures forever."
The Lord's faithfulness endures forever!
Psalm 117:2 "For great is His love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord."
The Lord's name endures forever!
Psalm 135:13 "Your name, Lord, endures forever, Your renown, Lord, through all generations."
The Lord's dominion (sovereignty) endures forever!
Psalm 145:13 "Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all He promises and faithful in all He does."
Everything He does endures forever!
Ecclesiastes 3:14 "I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him."
His word endures forever!
Isaiah 40:8 "The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever."
The Lord's throne endures forever!
Lamentations 5:19 "You, Lord, reign forever; Your throne endures from generation to generation."
He endures forever!
Daniel 6:26 "I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. 'For He is the living God and He endures forever; His kingdom will not be destroyed, His dominion will never end.'"
Don't lose heart or give up. Jesus didn't! He persevered for you and for me! His struggles and His enduring love, faithfulness, righteousness, etc., should encourage each of us to persevere! Don't lose heart. Jesus didn't, and we shouldn't either!
For today's prompts, I tried to share a couple that might focus on today's study and a few that focus on Easter. Enjoy your journaling time!
- What scripture above speaks to you and why?
- How has the Lord helped you persevere in a situation?
- What does Christ's sacrifice mean to you?
- How do you traditionally celebrate Easter? Are you doing anything different this year?
- What services do you usually attend during Holy Week and Easter (Maundy Thursday, Stations of the Cross, Sunrise Service, etc.)?
Today I am sharing a little booklet I have made for a friend. It was a booklet I started as part of Roben-Marie Smith's Snap and Share workshop. I didn't know what I was going to put inside but after writing this lesson, I felt it might be a great encouragment to her. So, I printed the lesson out on graph paper, tore the sheets out, and put them in the book. The first page is a note from me, followed by the study, and then there are blank pages in the back for her to journal. It will go out in the mail on Monday, and I sure hope the scriptures will speak to her and brighten her day!
Thanks for joining me today. Feel free to join us on the Facebook page where some people will be sharing their creations. To see all of the information regarding this challenge and the previous studies, please see this post here. And remember, with Him we can persevere. Have a blessed Easter!
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