I was reading a passage in the book of 2 Thessalonians that really got my attention. Paul had been bragging on this church because they not only maintained their love, faith and patience in the middle of heavy persecution, but they were actually growing in faith and patience.
“3 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater; 4 therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.” 2 Thessalonians 1:2-3 NASU
In other words, most Christians quit and give up when they face difficulties, the Thessalonians continued to endure through faith and patience.
It seems as though once the light of God’s Word comes on inside of you the fight is on, according to Hebrews 10:32-36. And the reason for this is that you have just become a threat to the devil.
However, even in the worst of situations you have to become determined that you will not give up your faith no matter what! Because if you will keep your faith strong and active, it can endure anything!
“2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4 NASU
Notice the phrase, “The trying of your faith.” In the King James Version it staes that the trying of your faith works patience. And patience in the Greek actauly can be translated, cheerful or hopeful endurance, which is no doubt the reason it is so translated in the New American Standard Updated Bible.
So, what this verse is telling us is that in the middle of the pressure, and when the promise has not yet manifested, you must still maintain your cheer, your joy and your peace. Because, if you are no longer cheerful, joyful or peaceful, then you are no longer in faith.
Keep in mind that your faith represents everything it takes to defeat the devil and he knows it. So, the trials and persecutions you are dealing with are designed to get faith out of your heart. But don’t give in and don’t give up – ever. The enemy is just trying to wear you down so that you will abandon your faith. But instead, allow it to work a cheerful endurance in you, so that you can remain in your faith stance until the promise manifests.
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9 KJV
When time is marching on and it looks like the promises are never going to come to pass, you must hold on to your faith. However, if you just won’t quit you will reap the Bible says!
Don’t give up. Hold on tight to your faith.
When you have already done everything possible to stand, you must keep on standing (Ephesians 6:13). The passage of time tries your faith. And many people give up because of the passage of time.
Think of all that Joseph went through from when he received the promise until the Word came to pass in his life (Psalm 105:17-19). Yet he never wavered.
He maintained his faith in what God said to him no matter what the circumstances said.
The harder it gets, and the more painful it gets, the more you will have to stay focused on the Word of God. You may have to pull your mind back onto the Word a thousand times a day. So do it. And you may have to keep a CD or your iPod going day and night with faith teaching that strengthens and fortifies you while the battle rages. But it is so much better than quitting and missing out on what God promised you.
So, how long do I have to stand, I am often asked? Until there is a complete manifestation of everything the Bible promises you. And once you have stood and received the promise, you become harder and harder to shake next time.