Persevere Through Christ And His Power
  By Rich Carmicheal
  

    Our Lord makes it very clear in His Word that we can expect great difficulties as we follow and serve Him.  He forewarns us that we will face tribulation (John 16:33), persecution (John 15:20; 2 Tim. 3:12), sufferings (2 Cor. 1:5) and temptations (1 Cor. 10:13), along with the daily pressures and strain related to life and our labor for the Lord.  Thus, the Apostle Paul writes of his ministry as a servant of God being “…in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors…” (2 Cor. 6:4-5). 

    And in these last days it seems the pressure is increasing.  Even under the best of conditions, the Christian life requires much strength and energy, but all the more in these days when there is growing opposition toward us and great spiritual and moral deterioration all around us.  Walking with the Lord and ministering to the multitude of needs around us can push us to our limits and beyond.

    No wonder we are exhorted to “run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Heb. 12:1).  The word translated “endurance” carries the meaning of “­energetic resistance, steadfastness under pressure, and endurance in the face of trials.”  The word can also be translated with words such as “perseverance,” “patience” and “steadfastness.”  The idea is to stay the course and “under misfortunes and trials to hold fast to one’s faith in Christ.”

    The writer of Hebrews calls us to do this very thing:  “…and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart” (12:1-3).  Jesus is the perfect example of endurance because of all that He endured, including the Cross and great hostility against Him. 

Christ’s Power and Presence

    But even beyond His perfect example is the fact that He helps us to endure.  Thus the Apostle Paul prays that God’s people be “strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness [endurance]...” (Col. 1:11).  And not only do we have His power at work within us, we have the very presence of Christ with us!  He has promised to be with us always and to never desert or forsake us (Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5).  No amount of tribulation or distress can separate us from Him and His love (Rom. 8:35).  And because of His presence with us and His power at work within us, we can run and finish our race with endurance.  In fact, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! (Phil. 4:13).

    If you are feeling weary or losing heart, fix your eyes on Him!  He invites you to draw near to Him:  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).  Renew your fellowship with Him and your devotion to Him, and seek His fullness in your life.  Draw near to Him that He might fill your life with His power (2 Cor. 12:9-10; Col. 1:29), His encouragement (Phil. 2:1; Rom. 15:5), His comfort (2 Cor. 1:5), His peace (John 16:33; Phil. 4:7), His victory (1 Cor. 15:57) – indeed, with His very Self!

    “For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father...that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith...” (Eph. 3:14-17).

    “May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ” (2 Thes. 3:5).

    “…In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).   

Thank You for Your Prayers and Encouragement!

    The Herald staff is very grateful to report that after a number of challenges, the new computer system and programs are in place and working well.  We appreciate very much all of the prayer support and encouragement we received during this time.  Please join us in seeking the Lord for His ongoing anointing and provision for this work, and that each issue of the Herald will be filled with what is on His heart for the hour.  With that in mind, we thank Him for the messages in this issue which focus upon the Person and the work of Christ.  May the Lord work through these messages to encourage you in your relationship to Christ and the work you do for Him.  To Him be all the glory! 

Herald of His Coming
P.O. Box 279
Seelyville IN 47878 U.S.A.