Holy Bible

Bringing God’s Word to Pass: Endurance

As we continue our series, we’re going to take a look at the next aspect in bringing God’s word to pass in our lives – endurance!
We’ve looked at God’s word itself and what faith is, but this week, we’re going to dig in as we find that just having faith that God is able in itself is insufficient, but that rather faith coupled with and revealed by our works is able to bring God’s word to pass in our lives.
Having faith – being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see – should impact how we live, how we respond to circumstances – our actions.
To start, we’re going to take a look at men and women through history who endured circumstances and put faith into action despite words spoken against them or circumstances that occurred
Endurance is something that we see missing in so many areas of life today.  Endurance takes commitment and a resolve to stick with something no matter what circumstances come along.
Today, we live in a very disposable culture.  Everything from paper towels, razors, food containers, diapers, to cell phones are disposable.  Far more is made to be replaced than repaired these days and the mentality has seeped beyond material possessions into every area of our lives.  We now find that relationships, beliefs, values, family, and even God Himself is viewed as being disposable.  If something isn’t working as we intended it or gets old and not as interesting, it’s OK to just throw it out and replace it.  We can’t even begin to understand the harm and damage that has been caused by this mindset!
Unfortunately, this same mindset has made it’s way into the church!  Endurance, however, stands in stark contrast with this disposable mindset.
Endurance is a word of action, which we’ll take a look at in a few minutes.
As I mentioned earlier, the faith that we learned about last week on it’s own is of little use.  However, when we have faith and couple it with our actions, it is then pushed into motion.  The measure of our faith is the potential that we have for change, and action is what sets that faith in motion to bring our hope into substance – to bring God’s word to pass in our lives.  Jesus explained it with this parable:
Matthew 7:24-27
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
As we see here, both houses experienced the same circumstances and went through the same issues.  The one built on the rock, however, was able to endure and persevere through the storm.  In the same way, we all will go through storms.  However, the one who not only knows the word of God, but also puts it into practice will be able to endure the storms whereas someone who does not know God’s word or, worse yet, knows it and does not put it into action will be crushed by that same storm.
James explained how our faith and actions work together in this way:
James 2:14-24
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
So as we now know that we need not only have faith, but also put that faith into action, let’s take a look at two of the action words that are necessary as we see God’s word come to pass in our lives.
Persevere – to be consistently diligent (showing care and conscientiousness in one’s work), to give yourself continually to, to wait on, to continue in
To persevere means that we are consistent.  In bringing God’s word to pass in our lives, that means that we stand on His word in every area of our lives and do not doubt or waver in it’s truth.  We do not conform His word to our will, opinions, or desires, but that rather we conform our will, opinions, and desires to His word!
Just as consistency of something can be tested in the natural, God also will allow trials in our lives to test our faith and consistency.  He will allow trials to see if we not only have faith, but that we are willing to put that faith into action despite what happens around us.
James 1:2-4
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
So we see here that as God permits seasons of trials in our lives, His desire for them is to produce within us perseverance from our faith and that as we persevere through these trials, God matures us and brings His provision so that we are complete and lacking nothing.
Frequently through these trials, we will see the fruits of the flesh put to death in us and the fruits of the Spirit grow within us as we persevere and put His word into action.
Galatians 5:19-23
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.
So we see here that it is ultimately for our benefit that we face these various trials and that if we persevere and allow Him to do His work in our lives, He is able to transform us and bring His word to pass in our lives.
Let’s take a look at our second action word this morning.
Endure – to abide, to bear, to remain in, to persevere patiently
1 Thessalonians 1:3
We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Endurance is basically perseverance over time.  It’s being consistent in putting our faith into action throughout our lives.  It’s remaining hopeful and patient knowing that God’s word will come to pass in our lives no matter what comes our way.  Through endurance, we get to learn much from God and get to see His works firsthand.  After all, we couldn’t see His miracles occur if there were not opposition!
We couldn’t see healing if it were not for sickness
We wouldn’t appreciate freedom were it not for bondage
We wouldn’t appreciate forgiveness were it not for sin
A few mistakes that we commonly make are to either reject God when we do not see His word come to pass when we expect it to or to try and take matters into our own hands and force it ourselves.  It’s God’s desire that out of relationship with Him, that we seek Him and cooperate with Him, keeping in step with Him as He moves.  God’s timing is perfect.  Things may not occur when we expect them to or how we expect them to, but we can trust God knowing that He knows what is best for us.  Ecclesiastes 3 tells us that there is a time for everything.  We need to practice endurance and wait patiently on Him as His timing is perfect.
Romans 8:24-25
But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
As we look around, there are plenty of examples in the natural of things that we must wait patiently for.  In these things, if we were to rush them too soon, they would not produce what we are desiring.  Also, if we wait too long, they would not produce what we are desiring.
Let’s take the seed as an example again.  Let’s say for example that God had promised me a watermelon.  If I plant this watermelon seed, wait one day, and pull it back out, we would be disappointed to find that not much has changed and this watermelon that God promised us is nothing like He said that it would be.  If we planted the seed and waited one year, we would find that indeed a watermelon did grow, but that it is mostly flat, rotted, and disgusting – again nothing at all like what God had promised it to be.  However, if we were to plant the seed and to keep a watchful eye on it as it grew and knew the right time to harvest the watermelon, we would be incredibly blessed to enjoy that watermelon and find many more seeds within it to be able to reproduce the blessing many times over.
Much of perseverance and endurance has to do with timing, patience, and trust.  It requires relationship with God so that we know when to wait and when to act and as a result, to grow and to see God’s word come to pass and be an incredible blessing to us and to those around us.

In bringing God’s word to pass in our lives, we see these things working together in beautiful unity: His word, faith, trust, action, perseverance, endurance, and patience.  Without any one of them, they all fall and what God planned gets stopped short.