North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

A famous preacher once said, “I never can comprehend how the snails managed to get into Noah’s Ark, yet they did. They must’ve started early.” If the kind of Christian life you’re living is grinding you down, because of its pace, perhaps you’ve been relying on your own strength. It’s time to end the “on-again, off-again” life with God that characterizes the lives of so many believers.
A Scripture from 2 Thessalonians 3:5 says, “May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.” Note this verse speaks of Christ’s endurance, not our own. It’s actually a prayer that God will direct our hearts into Christ’s endurance. Too often, we dash ahead in front of a circumstance when our emotions are running high and we give up on God’s pace when life gets hard.
Endurance is the ability to keep on keeping on when things are tough and you want to quit. We need to convince ourselves that endurance in Christian living is a long-steady march in the right direction. Endurance is a mark of maturity in our faith.
The victorious Christian life is not about your ability to whip up enough grit to cross the finish line. A Spirit-filled Christian is keenly aware that none of us have enough power within ourselves to endure. We might have enough “intestinal fortitude” to slog through with something that seems like endurance, but it will not have inner peace and joy attached to it. God intends that the life of a Christian be challenging and adventurous. This is why we continually must return to God in prayer asking Him for supernatural strength and the endurance of Christ. This is what makes the difference! And this is how we are able to keep F-A-I-T-H in God and His plans that apply to our life.
In my lifetime, more than once, some people have asked me why they should believe and trust in the Higher Power when so much in the world is bad and evil. Allow me to give you five good reasons you should have F-A-I-T-H and keep on keeping on:
F-aith is fortifying. In the pioneer days forts were built to protect from danger. Faith fortifies us against the attacks of Satan. When Satan attacks through temptation, trial, discouragement or affliction, faith will overpower the enemy. “And this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).
A-nswers are assured. If you read the Bible, you can know God answered prayer for Daniel in the lion’s den, for the three Hebrew teenagers in the fiery furnace, and for Paul and Silas in the Philippian jail. He’s the same today! No matter how difficult the task, how desperate the circumstances, or how destructive the opposing forces, faith brings answers to prayer.
I-nfluence is important. Matthew 13:58 says, “And so he (Jesus) did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief.” Jesus was unable to help those in his own country, because their unbelief limited Jesus’ power to perform what he could have. As a result, Jesus’ influence suffered. Faith must be exercised with great belief, because our friends and loved ones are dependent upon our prayers and encouragement.
T-imes are turbulent. As the angry waves dashed their ship, the disciples grew frightened, but Jesus rebuked the wind and there was calm. He then asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:40). Today, you may be dashed with destructive winds of violence, hate, prejudice, and persecution. Jesus still says, “Don’t be afraid, just have faith” (Mark 5:36).
H-eaven’s our home. We all know that life on earth is saturated with trouble and trials. They take us to our wits end. We often long for heaven. In heaven there will be no more sin, sorrow, suffering, or separation. We must keep faith because heaven is our home and in God’s time, He will call us home.
Finally, remember the words of James 1:2-4, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” Christianity is a supernatural life, sustained by supernatural power. You need the endurance of Christ, not the endurance of you.
• This weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s the author of the newly released book: “Soldiers of God: A Bible Study guide for Spiritual Warfare”. Matthew can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living.

Posted by on Apr 26 2015. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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