The Oxford dictionary's definition of the word ‘perseverance’ is “to continue steadfastly especially in something that is difficult or tedious.” Coupled with the right understanding, perseverance can be an extremely valuable thing. Here is a list of some of the elements that constitute perseverance; each is accompanied with an example in ‘prayer,’ the subject of our sermon this Sabbath.
|Job 19:||25: “For I know that my Redeemer liveth...”
|Job 23:||10: “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”
|Job 42:||2: “I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.”|
|Proverbs 29:||18: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”
|Hosea 4:||6: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:...”|
|Hosea 4:||6: “...because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.”|
|1 Kings 18:||:41: “And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.|
42: So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees,
43: And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times.
44: And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not.
45: And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain.”
By persistence we do not mean vain repetition, which is the countless mouthings of the same phrase or sentence over and over again. Pagans go in for vain repetition. They say the exact same words over and over again. This is not the kind of perseverance that Yahweh calls for. Perseverance is spiritual endurance governed by reason. Vain repetition is a mindless reiteration of the same words - without reason and without respect to the intelligence of the hearer. Beware of people who use vain repetition!
|Matthew 6:||7: “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”|
|Proverbs 20:||22: “Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.”
|Psalm 40:||1: “I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.”
|Daniel 12:||12: “Blessed is he that waiteth...”
|Habakkuk 2:||3: “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”
|Psalm 27:||14: “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”|
|Revelation 2:||25: “But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.”
|Daniel 3:||17: “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.|
18: But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”
Here is evidence of faith without presumption. In other words: ‘Our God can save us. But even if He decides not
to, we will not break His law and worship your golden image.’
My prayer is that we will all be as steadfast as those three Hebrew worthies were, in the final Hour of Temptation!