Hebrews 12:1 ~ We are surrounded by a great cloud of people whose lives tell us what faith means. So let us run the race that is before us and never give up. We should remove from our lives anything that would get in the way and the sin that so easily holds us back.
Faith ~ –noun
1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.
6. the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.
7. the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one's promise, oath, allegiance, etc.
8. Christian Theology. the trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved.
The biblical word endurance or perseverance--the ability to keep on doing the things you have committed yourself to doing when you feel like it and when you don't. Nothing is more essential to success in the Christian life than perseverance. Faith gets you started; perseverance keeps you going.
This matter of perseverance is so critical to the Christian life that James 1 tells us that above all other human traits, perseverance is the characteristic that God is trying to build into your life and mine. The ability to keep on going. Keep making and keeping the commitments of life.
It's easy to start a task or something, but how hard is it to keep following Christ--even when the pressure is on--that takes staying power. "My brothers, consider it pure joy when you fall into various trials knowing that the trying of your faith produces perseverance."
Staying power! James 1 goes on to say, "But let perseverance have its perfect work that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing" (v.4).
This week we stand on the hinge between two years--2008 and 2009. How will these two years mark your life? Looking back on 2008 for a moment, there were some pretty significant peaks and valleys.
Paul in Philippians 3:13-14 "but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" that's perseverance.
Looking ahead to 2009, we don't know what the year will bring, but we can be sure, God is faithful. His mercies will be new every morning of every day of the new year. There's power in the day when you start it with faith in God and a commitment to perseverance.
Portion taken from James McDonald
It has been an extremely difficult year.