“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:18).
Perseverance by definition is a challenge to the human existence on many levels, especially in physical endurance and spiritual steadfastness. It is accepted as a continued and steady action or belief, usually over a long period despite difficulties and/or setbacks. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that God’s grace lasts to the end of a person’s life if that person has maintained his or her good [works] and faith. The Protestant church body teaches that God’s grace brings [selected] people, the elect, to salvation. I believe it sustain hope, the very essence of perseverance in all human endeavors, physical or spiritual.
In the Old Testament the Children of Israel waited generations for fulfillment of promises and prophecies that many believers never lived to see. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). God’s promise to Abraham sustained hope for centuries before Canaan was possessed. The lesson of the wilderness journey, when the fading of the initial enthusiasm of deliverance kept the people from entering the Promised Land, was never forgotten. We, today’s believers must look constantly beyond our failures and tragedy to distant horizons, and nourish a patient faith.
The New Testament urges us to a similar form of perseverance. The Greek word “proskartereo” has the root meaning to attend continually, adhere steadfastly and is often translated to mean devoted, continued, constant, and be steadfast. This concept of persistent patience and practice is called for in every facet of Christian life; in prayer, well-doing, Christian teaching, affliction, grace, faith, divine love, as well as, standing firm and not falling away from abiding in Christ as we run with patience. It is even called for in being zealous to confirm our call and election to service in the kingdom of God.
Scripture does not suggest that perseverance is based solely on human effort. The redeeming purpose of God is unyielding, every Old Testament covenant God made with humanity stands. We are reminded; “God will never fail nor forsake” for “His own name’s sake.” The New Testament assures us that “Jesus Christ will raise his own” at the last day “none shall pluck them from My hand or the Father’s.” We have every reason to believe that Christ will keep us from falling, God is faithful; He works in us to will and work for His good pleasure, and will not allow us to be tempted beyond our strength.
Nothing in heaven or earth, present or future, shall separate us from the love of God. We are already sealed by the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of eternal salvation, and we are kept by the power of God unto a salvation yet to be revealed. We are called to perseverance and assured of salvation; “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). I thank God for blessing you to be a blessing to someone else in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
- Ephesians Chapter 6 (pofw.wordpress.com)
- Heidelberg Catechism Lord’s Day 25 (glmc.wordpress.com)
- Perseverance of the Saints (nanangbasukisantoso.wordpress.com)