The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

Patient Endurance

Posted by israeliteindeed on August 31, 2011

Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.   Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.  Isa. 35:3-4

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. There is a time to warn the wicked, a time to preach and preserve truth, and there is a time to encourage the weak.  Today I’d like to encourage the weak saint who is on the way of holiness, but feels he is burdened almost beyond belief due to the trials he is experiencing.

The saints are called not only to believe on the name of Jesus, but also to suffer for His sake (Phil. 1:29).  We must through much tribulation enter the kingdom of God; therefore you must continue in the faith no matter what comes (Acts 14:22).  You must not, in the time of temptation, fall away (Luke 8:13).

The day you feel like giving up is a day of temptation. The day you feel bitterness beginning to grow in your heart is a time of temptation.  The day you wonder if the promises of God are true, and you envy the wicked who seem to get by without so much heartache–this is a day of temptation for you.  Satan is seeking to devour you, but the Lord Jesus stands as your advocate with the Father, praying for you.  You must believe the word which is spoken to you, that your God will come with a vengeance and a recompence; He will come and save you. You must be patient in your day of affliction–

Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.  Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.  (Jam. 5:10-11)

Endurance through suffering is needed, that after you have done the will of God while under the squeezing pressure of affliction, you may receive the promise of God (Heb. 10:36).  Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all (Psa. 34:19).  Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning (Psa. 30:5).  The heavier the burden feels, the more we need to consider Jesus, who endured such contradiction from sinners against Himself, lest we be wearied and faint in our minds. (Heb. 12:3-4).

Beloved saint, the night may be longer than you expect.  Sometimes the night can last months or even years. Sometimes circumstances so break your heart, you feel you cannot recover. Sometimes the actions of others have such terrible consequences, many of your personal hopes are dashed, and you can barely breathe, let alone “act joyful” or be a strength to others.  It seems like the wind has been kicked out of you.  In these times, you must believe that your God will come and save you. Do not turn your back on Him, heeding the lie of satan that He has forsaken you to be overcome by your circumstances, for He has promised never to leave nor forsake you.  He has been touched with the feeling of our infirmities and was in all points tempted as we are (Heb. 4:15).  He knows what it feels like to be hated and persecuted by even those who claim to love God, to have family look upon Him with scorn, to be misunderstood even by His closest companions, to be back-stabbed by someone close to Him, to be lonely, to be in intense pain physically and emotionally, to feel forsaken by God, and to wish there was another way than the one God laid upon Him. In short, He knows how we feel, and through Him, we can and must overcome all these things.

God is not the self-absorbed King Arthur shut up in His tower untouched by the sorrows of the peasants, but a selfless King who came to suffer with us, to carry our sorrows.  He has walked in our shoes, and He calls us to follow Him through the cross to the joy that awaits on the other side.  So, let us run with patience this race set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross (Heb. 12:1-3).  Let us follow Him wherever He goes, trusting in His power, knowing that as we carry about in our bodies the dying (to sin, self-love, etc.) of the Lord Jesus, the life of Jesus is manifested in us to the world (2 Cor. 4:10-11).  We overcome by enduring the dying, trusting the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will raise us also at the right time.

Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage.   As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a spring; the rain also covers it with pools.   They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion. (Psa. 84:5-7; NKJV)

Are you a stranger in a strange land (Exo. 2:22)?–Pray this, “Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.” (Psa. 39:12)  Remember, you are not a stranger alone, but a stranger with Him. You have gone forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach (Heb. 13:13). Together you must pass through the Valley of Baca–the Way of Weeping–and make it a spring. Those who must come this way after you will be refreshed by your tears;  they are not in vain. Though you feel weak, you will go from strength to strength, yoked to Jesus.  Only believe with Job that after you have been tried in the fire, you will come forth as pure gold to the Father’s glory (Job 23:10).

The power of the Gospel alive in you is this: that even if you are hungry, thirsty, naked, buffeted–even if you have no certain dwelling place and are reviled, persecuted, defamed, and considered the filth of the world–you can bless those who hate you, suffer patiently the abuse heaped on you, and continue to intreat your enemies to come to Jesus (I Cor. 4:11-14).  You can lay even your good dreams on the altar, as Abraham laid Isaac there, trusting that God is able to raise them up again if needed.  You have the treasure of God in an earthen (weak) vessel, so that His power becomes famous–you are troubled on every side but not distressed beyond what you can bear, you are perplexed but not despairing and without hope, you are persecuted but not forsaken, you are cast down but not destroyed. You are being delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that His overcoming life might manifest (2 Cor. 4:8-11).

So again, to the fearful heart, I say, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.  When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven, He will trouble those who are troubling you, and give you rest with the people of God (2 Thess. 1:6-8). You who are poor in spirit, the Kingdom of heaven is yours. You who are mourning, you will be comforted. You meek who turn the other cheek out of love for your Lord, the earth will be yours. You merciful, you will obtain mercy. You lover of peace, you are a child of your Father, the King of Peace.  You who are persecuted for righteousness sake, who are hated for your stand for Jesus and His truth, He knows your name and is even now preparing your reward. Do not turn back in fear or discouragement, but continue in the faith, being patient as the farmer is patient when he waits for fruit to grow.  Your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.  (Isa. 35:10)

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2 Responses to “Patient Endurance”

  1. This encouraged me. Thank you and praise The Lord. The verse you quoted had been my food for this week. Who can understand but the brethren who suffer for Christ’s sake. Dying to the flesh is the victory gained. There is comfort for they that mourn. After we have suffered a little while, He will restore us, settle and strengthen us.

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