* Endurance of Jeremiah
Endurance is not a common quality. Many people lack the long-term commitment, caring, and willingness that are vital to sticking with a task against all odds. But Jeremiah was a prophet who endured.
Jeremiah’s call by God teaches how intimately God knows us. He valued us before anyone else knew we would exist. He cared for us while we were in our mother’s womb. He planned our life while our body was still being formed. He values us more highly than we value ourselves.
Jeremiah had to depend on God’s love as he developed endurance. His audiences were usually antagonistic or apathetic to his messages. He was ignored; his life was often threatened. He saw both the excitement of a spiritual awakening and the sorrow of a national return to idolatry. With the exception of the good king Josiah, Jeremiah watched king after king ignore his warnings and lead the people away from God. He saw fellow prophets murdered. He himself was severely persecuted. Finally, he watched Judah’s defeat at the hands of the Babylonians.
Jeremiah responded to all this with God’s message and human tears. He felt firsthand God’s love for his people and the people’s rejection of that love. But even when he was angry with God and tempted to give up, Jeremiah knew he had to keep going. God had called him to endure. He expressed intense feelings but saw beyond the feelings to the God who was soon to execute justice but who afterward would show mercy.
It may be easy for us to identify with Jeremiah’s frustrations and discouragement, but we need to realize that this prophet’s life is also an encouragement to faithfulness. (NLT)
Jeremiah 1:6-8 – “O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!”
“Don’t say that,” the Lord replied, “for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and take care of you. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
* Endurance an evidence of salvation
Enduring to the end is not a way to be saved but the evidence that a person is really committed to Jesus. Persistence is not a means to earn salvation; it is the by-product of a truly devoted life. (NLT)
Matthew 10:22 – [Jesus said] “And everyone will hate you because of your allegiance to me. But those who endure to the end will be saved.”
* Because Christ lives in us as believers, we can remain courageous and hopeful to the end. We are not saved by being steadfast and firm in our faith, but our courage and hope do reveal that our faith is real. Without this enduring faithfulness, we could easily be blown away by the winds of temptation, false teaching, or persecution. (NLT)
Hebrews 3:6 – But Christ, the faithful Son, was in charge of the entire household. And we are God’s household, if we keep up our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ.
* Endurance essential to faith
To believe in Jesus and “endure to the end” will take perseverance because our faith will be challenged and opposed. Severe trials will sift true Christians from fair-weather believers. Enduring to the end does not earn salvation for us but marks us as already saved. The assurance of our salvation will keep us strong in times of persecution. (NLT)
Mark 13:13 – [Jesus said] “And everyone will hate you because of your allegiance to me. But those who endure to the end will be saved.”
* We will find our endurance has been worth it
As he neared the end of his life, Paul could confidently say he had been faithful to his call. Thus, he faced death calmly, knowing that he would be rewarded by Christ. Is your life preparing you for death? Do you share Paul’s confident expectation of meeting Christ? The good news is that the heavenly reward is not just for giants of the faith, like Paul, but for all who are eagerly looking forward to Christ’s second coming. Paul gave these words to encourage Timothy and us, so that no matter how difficult the fight seems, we can keep fighting. When we are with Jesus Christ, we will discover that it was all worth it. (NLT)
2 Timothy 4:5-8 – But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at bringing others to Christ. Complete the ministry God has given you. As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought a good faith, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me–the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his glorious return.
* The secret to endurance
This news about God’s ultimate triumph should encourage God’s people to remain faithful through every trial and persecution. They can do this, God promises, by trusting in Jesus and obeying the commands found in his Word. The secret to enduring, therefore, is trust and obedience. Trust God to give you patience to endure even the small trials you face daily; obey him even when obedience is unattractive or dangerous. (NLT)
Revelations 14:12 – Let this encourage God’s holy people to endure persecution patiently and remain firm to the end, obeying his commands and trusting in Jesus.
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