How Can We Keep Going in Difficult, Painful and Scary Situations? #81 #IfWeFaintNot
Hello friends, and welcome into the Bible Reading Podcast. This is Day 3 of Shelter in Place for us Californians, and such decisions are likely coming for many across the United States. These are strange and scary times, but the Body of Christ is no stranger to tribulation and trials! Today’s Bible passages are Exodus 31, Proverbs 7, John 10 and Galatians 6. One day soon we will discuss one of the bigger Bible questions out there: Do the Old Testament Sabbath Commands still apply to New Covenant Christians? But today our focus is more pastoral, and less theological. Consider this beautiful passage in Galatians:
9 Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith.Galatians 6:9-10
This is such an important passage for the time we find ourselves in. We will be fruitful in this season as the blood-bought church of the Living and Resurrected Jesus IF WE DO NOT GIVE UP. And, in the midst of this pandemic, we must WORK FOR THE GOOD OF ALL – especially for those who are in the faith. Just briefly, let us consider the part of this command that many of us aren’t going to get, unless it is shouted at us a bit. Paul, under the inspiration and AUTHORITY of the Holy Spirit, commands us to Work for the GOOD of ALL. Who does ALL include? I’m glad you asked.
If you are a die-hard Republican, ALL includes Democrats. and Vice-versa.
If you are a big Alabama fan, ALL includes Auburn fans, and vice-versa.
You love the 49ers? ALL includes the Raiders, and vice-versa
If you are a saved follower of Jesus who believes He is the only way to salvation (as I do!) then ALL includes Islamic people, atheists, agnostics, and people who think Christians are fools.
If you are a cessationist, all includes charismatics and contiuationists. (and vice-versa)
If you are a Calvinist, ALL includes Arminians!
If you are a Baptist, ALL includes Methodists (and vice versa)
Maybe you are getting it now. I hope I am! Aside from this command to do good to all – which is an excellent reminder for us right now, I want to focus on the promise in Scripture that we will REAP and be fruitful IF WE do NOT give up! Let’s talk a little about perseverance, beginning with a few Bible passages to spur us on and encourage us NOT to give up:
Ten Bible Verses on Perseverance and NOT Giving Up:
But as for you, brothers and sisters, do not grow weary in doing good.2 Thessalonians 3:13
Therefore, since we have this ministry because we were shown mercy, we do not give up.2 Corinthians 4:1
But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but one who does good works—this person will be blessed in what he does.James 1:25
12 A man who endures trials is blessed, because when he passes the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.James 1:12
3 And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, 4 endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. 5 This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.Romans 5:3-5
2 Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.James 1:2-4
10 Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. Look, the Devil is about to throw some of you into prison to test you, and you will have affliction for 10 days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.Revelation 2:10
17 You will be hated by everyone because of My name, 18 but not a hair of your head will be lost. 19 By your endurance gain your lives.Luke 21:17
8 Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. 9 Resist him, firm in the faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world.1 Peter 5:8-9
11 This saying is trustworthy:2nd Timothy 2:11-13
For if we have died with Him,
we will also live with Him;
12 if we endure, we will also reign with Him;
if we deny Him, He will also deny us;
13 if we are faithless, He remains faithful,
for He cannot deny Himself.
“A society of good Christian people will split into pieces over a petty quarrel, or mere matter of opinion, while all around them the masses are perishing for want of the gospel. A miserable little mouse, which no cat would ever hunt, takes them off from their Lord’s work. Again, intelligent men will spend months of time and heaps of money in inventing and publishing mere speculations, while the great field of the world lies unploughed. They seem to care nothing how many may perish so long as they can ride their hobbies. In other matters a little common sense is allowed to rule, but in the weightiest matters foolishness is sadly conspicuous. As for you and me, John, let us kill a mouse when it nibbles our bread, but let us not spend our lives over it. What can be done by a mousetrap or a cat should not occupy all our thoughts.Charles Haddon Spurgeon, John Ploughman’s Pictures: More of His Talk (Redding, CA: Pleasant Places Press, 2005), 57.
“The paltry trifles of this world are much of the same sort. Let us give our chief attention to the chief things,—the glory of God, the winning of souls for Jesus, and our own salvation. There are fools enough in the world, and there can be no need that Christian men should swell the number. Go on with your ploughing, John, and I will go on with my preaching, and in due season we shall reap if we faint not.”
THIS verse occurs in the Epistle to the Galatians, which so plainly sets forth the grand doctrine of justification by faith, and teaches us, most plainly, that salvation is not of works, but of grace. As if to confound for ever those who say that the doctrine of free grace is unpractical, the apostle, before he closes his epistle, exhorts believers to labour, and in the verse before us gives us a sentence worthy to be printed in letters of gold and hung up for ever before the eyes of all Christian workers, “Be not weary in well doing.” It is true, my brethren, that you are not to save yourselves by well doing. Your motive is not selfish, but because you are saved already you desire to manifest the power of gratitude, and to prove to all the world that those who receive a free salvation are the very men who most cheerfully labour to please God and to bring glory to his name. O ye who are debtors to infinite mercy, “Be not weary in well doing.”C. H. Spurgeon, “The Cause and Cure of Weariness in Sabbath-School Teachers,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 23 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1877), 625–626.
The apostle, at the time he wrote our text, had in his mind’s eye the well doing which by its alms does good unto all men, and also that kindness which leads hearers of the gospel to communicate in all good things unto him that teacheth. Truly it is easy to be weary in these matters. Almsgiving certainly is disheartening work. One is so continually being deceived that giving to the poor becomes a weary business. Impostors abound on all sides: this city of London swarms with impostors who would deceive Solomon himself. I do not wonder that men are driven to organize their charity, which frequently means bringing it to an end. The tendency is to excuse themselves because at some time or other they have been victimized.
A cruel hardness is abroad which talks philosophy, and renounces almsgiving for fear of disturbing our delightful social economy. Almsgiving, if we are to believe some men, has become a crime… To these people it seems odd that our Lord should have commended anything so inconsistent with political economy as giving to the poor. According to the modern school we may expect those to be blessed who see people hungry and give them no meat, thirsty and give them no drink, sick and in prison and never visit them… I trust, however, that the Christian spirit which is compassionate to the poor will never die out among us, and that, notwithstanding all the difficulties under which we may have to labour, we may not be weary in well doing, for despite all deceits and impositions, in due season we shall reap if we faint not.
CLOSING BLESSING AND BENEDICTION (Meditate on this Jewel of Encouragement:)
11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light. 13 He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. 14 We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, in Him.Colossians 1:11-14