Persevering in the Light
I want to talk to you about the importance of persevering in the light. We know the significance of being the light, carrying the presence of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit within us, and how we are called to be influencers in the world around us. However, if we lack the perseverance required to sustain our light, it can dim over time.
I recall a time in my early ministry when I learned the value of perseverance from a woman named Pastor Gloria Gillespie. She emphasized that while faith and good ideas are essential, the most critical character trait to develop is perseverance. Without it, the enemy can discourage us, lead us into disappointment, bitterness, and even isolation. The list of his tactics is endless. But when we pre-determine in our minds that we will not give up, we can overcome any opposition.
Allow me to share a personal experience. A couple of years ago, I faced a daunting challenge. We were asked to vacate the property we were using because it was too big for both us and another group. We had 30 days to find a new property that could accommodate our ministry’s needs, including providing housing for homeless individuals and children. The pressure was on, and during that time, I made a heartfelt request to my assistant: “Don’t let me give up.” To this day, a sign that reads “Never Give Up” hangs in my office as a reminder that the enemy will try to discourage us, but quitting is ultimately our choice.
Perseverance is about persisting despite difficulties or delays. In the Greek language, the words used for perseverance also convey the ideas of insistence, tenacity, stubbornness, and immovability. The Apostle Paul encouraged the believers in 1 Corinthians 15:58 to be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. We must grasp the truth that the work of the Lord in our lives will never be in vain. He who began a good work in us will carry it out until completion (Philippians 1:6).
Story of Elijah
Now, let’s turn our attention to the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 18 and 19. The people of God had strayed from their true identity and embraced pagan idolatry under the leadership of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. Elijah, a prophet of the Lord, challenged the 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah to a showdown on Mount Carmel. He boldly proclaimed that they would see whose God would answer by fire.
In this story, we witness Elijah’s unwavering tenacity. He didn’t wait for others to join him before taking action. He restored the ruined altar of the Lord, symbolizing the rebuilding of a future from the rubble of the past. The fire from heaven fell upon that restored altar, demonstrating God’s power and presence. Afterward, Elijah prophesied heavy rain, even though initially, there was no sign of it. He persisted in prayer, sending his servant to look for rain seven times, symbolizing completeness. On the seventh time, the servant reported a small cloud on the horizon, the size of a man’s hand. Elijah knew that the breakthrough was near.
The story of Elijah reminds us of the importance of perseverance. Even when circumstances seem hopeless, we must continue to press forward, trusting in God’s promises. We can’t waver between two opinions or allow fear to hold us back. Instead, we must stand firm, bending our faces to the ground in prayer, seeking God’s guidance and waiting for His timing. Like Elijah, we can expect the rain of God’s blessings to pour down upon us, even when all seems dark and dry.
- How have you experienced the challenges of discouragement and opposition in your journey of faith? Share a specific instance where you were tempted to give up, and how God helped you persevere.
- What are some practical ways you can cultivate perseverance in your daily life? How can you develop a mindset that refuses to give up, even when faced with difficulties?
- Reflect on the story of Elijah and his unwavering faith. What lessons can you learn from his example of persistence and trust in God? How can you apply those lessons to your own life and circumstances?
Dear Heavenly Father,
I acknowledge that you are the source of my strength and perseverance. I thank you for the example of Elijah, who demonstrated unwavering faith in the face of opposition. Lord, I confess that there are times when I grow weary and discouraged, tempted to give up on the journey of faith.
Today, I declare your grace and empowerment to persevere in all things. Refresh me with your Holy Spirit, that I may have a steadfast spirit within me. Keep my eyes fixed on you! For YOU are faithful to complete the good work you have started in me. I surrender my fears, doubts, and disappointments into your loving hands. Renew my mind and ignite YOUR fire within my heart.
I determine to press forward, even when the road is difficult and uncertain. I will not waver, but rather I will rely on your promises and be sensitive to your leading. I trust your timing.
In Jesus’ mighty name, I pray. Amen.
To learn more on this topic, check out this YouTube: https://youtu.be/wngicreG14A