North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

    If the kind of Christian life you are living is grinding you down because of its pace, perhaps you’ve been relying on your own strength. It might seem the rope that holds you together is about to break. Maybe you’ve neglected your prayer life and dependence on God? 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 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. Therefore, 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 can 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:

    Faith 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).

    Answers 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.

    Influence 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 town, because their unbelief limited Jesus’s 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.

    Times 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 maybe dashed with destructive winds of violence, hate, prejudice, and persecution. Jesus still says, “Don’t be afraid, just have faith” (Mark 5:36).

    Heaven’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.

    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.”

    You need the endurance of Christ, not the endurance of you. Christianity is a supernatural life, sustained by supernatural power.

 

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s a health educator for the State of Florida, U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain, and the Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in the New York Community. His “Living With Purpose” Book series can be found and purchased on www. Amazon.com. You can contact him by email: rmdobson@liberty.edu.

Posted by on Jan 26 2020. Filed under Church News, Churches, Living With Purpose, Local, News, 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

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>