Archive for the ‘Perseverance’ Category

Keep Climbing

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter 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. Hebrews 12:1-2

Life is filled with challenges but it’s how you deal with them that determines your future. God has called you to something bigger than mere survival. You are made in God’s image, designed for creativity and advancement.

Authors Dr. Paul G. Stoltz and Erik Weihenmayer make an interesting point in their book “The Adversity Advantage.” In life there are three different types of people: quitters, campers, and climbers. When things get tough, quitters give up and stop advancing. Campers work hard, reach a certain level, and then settle down in mediocrity. Climbers are that rare breed of people who continue to grow, learn, and move forward all their lives.

For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. 2 Chronicles 16:9a

Pressing on isn’t something that can be done in your own strength. God wants to strongly support you. “For it is God Himself whose power creates within you the desire to do His gracious will and also brings about the accomplishment of the desire” (Philippians 2:13 WEY). He has called you to keep climbing, to keep fighting the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12). He will equip you for the journey (Hebrews 13:20-21).

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

God can do a lot in the life of a person who will just cooperate with Him. Shake off the temptation to quit or to camp halfway up the rugged mountain. Make mediocrity your enemy. Be a lifelong climber. Give God an inch and He’ll take a mile! Give Him a thimble full of devotion and He’ll respond to you with an ocean of love.

Press on,
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2012 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Paul Stoltz PhD and Erik Weihenmayer, The Adversity Advantage. New York: Fireside, 2006. Weymouth New Testament in Modern Speech. Third Edition 1913. Public Domain.

Let Us Draw Near

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus . . . LET US draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith. Hebrews 10:19, 22a

LET US hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, LET US also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and LET US run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter 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. Hebrews 12:1-2

LET US consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:24

LET US press on to maturity. Hebrews 6:1b

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, LET US hold fast our confession. Hebrews 4:14

Therefore LET US draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Press on!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2012 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

Joseph: A Fruitful and Restored Life

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a spring; its branches run over a wall. Genesis 49:22

Joseph’s story shows someone who seemed destined to wither, but against all odds he flourished! As Jacob prayed a blessing over his kids at the end of his life, he described his son Joseph as a fruitful bough who thrived so much that his branches ran over a wall. Wherever Joseph was—slavery, prison—he always rose to the top.

In Joseph’s life we see an amazing miracle of mercy. Joseph got called upon by Pharaoh, and he went from the obscurity of prison to alleviating the suffering of Egypt’s people. But his reach went beyond the walls of his world and touched the very ones who had victimized him and hurt him!

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you Ephesians 4:31-32

Joseph mercifully forgave his brothers for their cruel treatment. There is power in forgiveness—all of us have been hurt, and all of us have hurt others. But when we lay aside bitterness, we’re going to get breakthrough.

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:1-3

Joseph flourished not because of his amazing humanness but because he was a fruitful bough by a spring—his roots grew deep into the rivers of God! The life of Joseph shows us how God can turn around any situation—even a horrible one like Joseph’s where he was victimized and hurt by his own brothers.

So don’t throw away your dreams or your confidence in God. Stay in the flow; don’t give up; don’t compromise; hold to the conviction that God will make a roadway in the wilderness and rivers in the desert (Isaiah 43:19). He who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).

Press on!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2011 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Perseverance and Preparation.

Monday, December 13th, 2010

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

What is confidence? It’s a firm belief and trust. It’s reliance on the fact that God is going to see you through!

Perseverance. We are those who “through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:12). The battles and challenges Winston Churchill faced early in his life readied him to defy the greatest evil of his time and inspire others to persevere. “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, . . . never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy . . . I say that we can be sure that we have only to persevere to conquer.” Winston Churchill*

Preparation. Those battles you’ve fought are qualifying you for the next steps. The challenges you’ve dealt with up to this point have prepared you to defy and conquer the enemy. And, just as Winston Churchill motivated an entire nation to face off with evil, you are called to help those in your sphere of influence to continue.

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12,14

God will see you through to the end. Read Hebrews 11. Read through the Book of Acts. When you hear the testimony of someone from church, grab hold of it and say, “That God is my God!” The same God who did all those miracles in the Bible, the same God who came through for someone else, will come through for you! He never changes. You serve the God who heals (Malachi 4:2), who redeems your life from the pit (Psalm 103:4), and who makes the crooked path straight (Isaiah 42:16). Never, never, never give in!

Press on!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2010 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. *From speech delivered October 29, 1941, at Harrow School.

Growing Up

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14

We are to walk and grow in a manner worthy of the calling on our lives (Ephesians 4:1). God promises that the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn that shines brighter and brighter until the full day (Proverbs 4:18). For the sake of the call, choose to grow and increase for your entire life.

But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ. Ephesians 4:15

People around you are looking for answers. They don’t need thoughtful impressions or good ideas—they need the substance of the wisdom of God. As we grow up in God and stay in the Word, His Wisdom floods our lives and enables us to have answers for others.

Don’t get too busy or focused to notice the amazing opportunities to speak into people’s lives every day. In your family and at your work (the people who bug you the most need you the most) there are people watching your life who need you to continue growing in the things of God.

Never stop growing!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2010 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

The Fruit of Not Quitting

Monday, July 19th, 2010

In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:12b-13)

CONTENTMENT. The Apostle Paul chose to rejoice instead of taking a viewpoint of want. If Paul learned the secret of being content while he was in prison, then so can we in our daily lives. We have to cast down imaginations, take every thought captive, and overwhelm doubt with the language of God’s faithfulness (2 Cor. 10:5).

DELIVERANCE. Paul endured despite heavy oppression: “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). Things were so tough for Paul, he knew he could not make it on his own strength. Instead, he chose to rely on God’s faithfulness, declaring that “God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us.” (1 Corinthians 1:9b-10). Remember the times God delivered you in the past; He will do the same with your present and future.

VISION. Become like Paul and learn the language of the overcomer. My heroes are people who walk with a limp, who have seen disappointments mount up around them but who forge ahead. If our church had quit after the flood of ’93, we wouldn’t have seen 3243 kids pour in for JUMP! We would never have put out 250 million video impressions of the Gospel per year in our city. We would never have reached out in Kosovo, or impacted Sri Lanka, or rebuilt homes after Hurricane Katrina. Lives are attached to your obedience, and there is victory on the other side of your battle.

Keep moving forward,
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2010 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

Overcoming Incapacitation

Monday, June 21st, 2010

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3-5

We’ve all heard of posttraumatic stress, but a recent study by psychologist Dr. Lawrence Calhoun states that more people react to trauma with posttraumatic growth. He believes that people can get stronger from their battles with life’s toughest stuff: “We’re talking about a positive change that comes about as a result of the struggle with something very difficult. It’s not just some automatic outcome of a bad thing.”* I don’t believe that hardship, sickness, or evil comes from God, but God can and will use every bad situation and turn it around for good (Romans 8:28).

I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13

My heroes in the Bible and in history are those who have endured. My mentors in Christianity are those who taught me that life is not fair, but God is good and God’s promises are true. You will be contested by the devil, but ultimately God will lead you in triumph (2 Corinthians 2:14).

Read all of Psalm 34 to encourage yourself concerning God’s faithfulness. This chapter really drives home the truth that “the righteous cry and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17). If you’ve become discouraged, remember that God’s ear is open to your cry and the God who was faithful in the Bible is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

God always leads us in triumph!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2010 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. *”From Wounds, Inner Strength,” Washington Post. www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/25/AR2005112501502.html, June 15, 2010

Cope. Fight. Win.

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Hear my cry, O God; Give heed to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a refuge for me, a tower of strength against the enemy. Let me dwell in Your tent forever; let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. Selah. Psalm 61:1-4

You may be overwhelmed in a situation where you flat-out need divine intervention. Jesus came for that purpose, that He might destroy the work of the devil (1 John 3:8). “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14). Jesus became a sin substitute and set us free, and He has given us authority over all things (Luke 10:19).

Submit therefore to God Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:7-8a

God is looking for us to understand our authority as believers. Satan comes to paralyze your planning, dilute your hopes and abort your dreams, and he must be resisted. “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith” (I Peter 5: 8-9a). Satan will try to hinder you from stepping out and fulfilling the things assigned for you to do (1 Thessalonians 2:18). Remember: God’s Word is true. Drive a stake in the ground and stand firm knowing that at the name of Jesus demons flee.

If you are preoccupied, spend some time in worship, meditate on the Word, and listen to good Bible-based teaching to get your mind renewed and on Jesus (Isaiah 26:3). We are called to trouble-shoot and problem-solve. We are called on a mission to alleviate suffering, address poverty and famine, and save lives. Take hold of what God has for you and step into effectiveness.

Press on,

Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2009 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

The Value of Endurance.

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. James 5:11

When we observe the outcome of Job’s life, we see his endurance and we see the faithfulness of God: “The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold” (Job 42:10).

Longsuffering is the King James word for “endurance,” and it’s a good description of what we need when we’re being long-bothered (Galatians 5:22). Longsuffering doesn’t mean that we have to crawl through life in defeat, but as we encounter the inevitable challenges of life we are to consider the value of endurance and be confident that the outcome of the Lord’s dealings will be breakthrough! Look at these words about Jesus:

When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him [Jesus] until an opportune time. Luke 4:13

Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him. Matthew 4:11

These verses show that every temptation and trial the devil throws at you has a beginning, middle, and end. If you don’t understand this when you march into a battle you’ll cave in, thinking you’ve been defeated. Don’t quit! God knows how to take bad situations and turn them around. “Then Job answered the Lord and said, ‘I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted’” (Job 42:1-2).

If you’re in the middle of a battle, don’t grow weary and become lethargic and vegetate on TV and ice cream. Strengthen yourself in the Lord (1 Samuel 30:6). Sometimes this is easier than other times, but God has called us to flat out do it. The world needs Christians who will stand up, have some backbone, and press on! Good things are ahead.

Persevere,

Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2009 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.