Thursday, July 28, 2005

Persevere Until the End

This afternoon, a young woman stepped onto shore out of the waters of the Northumberland Strait (between New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island) after she had been immersed for nearly eight hours. She had been in the water on her own accord. It was something she seemed determined to do. This woman swam from the shore of New Brunswick, across the roughly 14 km stretch of water to the shore of PEI.

This woman, Kristin Roe, started out with a delay (due to weather) in her journey. After finally getting started, the conditions were more favourable the majority of the way. However, once she got closer to her destination the tide began to work against her, causing her to veer somewhat off her course. She was also complaining of a swollen tongue and felt sick from the waves (this I heard on the news this afternoon) toward then end of her journey. View the story here: http://nb.cbc.ca/regional/servlet/View?filename=nb-swim20050728

As I was reading the story at the above link, it made me think of our walk with Jesus Christ. We need to persevere, or endure, in our walk as it says in Hebrews 12:1-2 "...let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus...". Our walk is not one that we can give up on when the going gets tough. Like the swimmer who fixed her sights on the distant shore to reach her goal, we need to fix our sight on Jesus. Then and only then can we overcome the obstacles that appear along our path. We also read in Hebrews 10:36 "For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised." In order to receive our rewards, we can not give up! Jesus is our example, and not once does He give up in doing anything for God.

The Bible never says that our walk with Jesus will be an easy one. In fact, it says the exact opposite. Jesus says, in John 15:20, "...If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you". Our persecution might not come in the form of having our head cut off or being killed in some other way (though it can happen in certain parts of the world), but in my opinion there are varying degrees of persecution that can happen to us. Again, our walk will not be easy.

The point of the matter is that no matter what we face in our walk, we need to persevere and endure what comes our way. How do we do this? By fixing our eyes upon Jesus, and turning to Him in all situations, good and bad. We need to put on the armour that God has provided for us (Ephesians 6:10-18), we need to pray, read our Bibles and meditate on the scriptures, memorize verses to help in our battles and daily lives. We also need to become His servants and do the work He has set aside for us to accomplish for His kingdom. Jesus needs to be at the center of everything in our lives. It is only from Him that we obtain our strength, our comfort, and our rest. He is the only one who can help us reach that distant shore!

I want to encourage everyone to persevere in his or her walk with Christ. Do not let temptations or trials stop you from reaching your goal. Do not let Satan cause you to doubt and/or fear. I am reminded at this time of a hymn, well actually the chorus, which I encourage us all to follow:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful
face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely
dim,
In the light of His glory and grace

6 comments:

Matthew said...

Very good. That fits into how I've been thinking lately. There will be persecutions because, without them, we basically would have no way to really grow. God turns all things to our good... even if our tongues swell up in the process.

Shelley said...

Yes, God uses the bad situations to bring about good. Sometimes it is to draw us closer to Him, to help us learn to lean on Him, to trust Him, and to have faith in Him.

steve said...

God is good!

Joe said...

How important is that?

It is so easy to get caught up in the emotional side of coming to Jesus. The hard part is the commitment to stay the course.

We must make Him the focus of the moments of our lives.

Suzii said...

Seems like the deeper I get into God's word... the more "troubles" come my way. I agree with every word you said. I much needed to hear your words this morning, Shelley. It sometimes seems like a battle never won... but I know in my heart that I have what it takes to get to the finish line... and I can't wait to see Jesus standing there to pat me on the back and say... "Job well done, my child." Thank you so very much for your post... and your willingness to share your faith.

Fish Tank is broken! said...

dear Suzil: do you know you are at the finish line already? :) Bible said about those who run the race of faith and make it. Jesus is at the finish line, where are you today? You are in Christ! So, logically, you are at the finished line, the battle is won! by our Lord! We don't just endure the walk with Jesus, we enjoy our walk with Jesus, because we know He has obtain victory for us! stay blessed!