“And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform” (Romans 4:21).
We have attitudes which are not sins in themselves, but distract and cause us to stumble in our Christian progress. One of the worst of these is obstinence an unwillingness to be persuaded. The obstinate mind is indeed a heavy burden to bear, certain to drag you down in your aspirations of holiness and usefulness for kingdom work. “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and, let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). The Apostle Paul is asking us to remove the dead weight that has overcome us and prepare for the journey ahead, for we are strangers and sojourners on the earth.
As a person who has tried his hand at learning multiple languages, more successful with some than others, I appreciate the English language. Especially, the poetic yet definitive style used in the King James Version of the Holy Bible, that is not to say other versions of the Bible are of less value, not true. My Christian foundation is tied to the KJV and I studied Old English in school for a more complete understanding of Shakespeare’s “to be or not to be.” I chose the “to be” and years later I must admit Shakespeare’s Old English has helped me to understand the Word of God at a deeper level.
Take for instance the word “persuaded” and the expression “fully persuaded” their meanings are very different. Persuade, a transitive verb, means to have convinced
somebody of something, made somebody believe something, especially by giving good reasons for doing so. “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day” (2 Timothy 1:12). The personal experience
of a person on a mission from God is very convincing of the purpose of God, having sent you on the mission.
The expression fully persuaded describes a given relationship between two terms or states, typically the relationship is described as being greater than, equal to and or similar to. “I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). Furthermore, fully persuaded means to have succeeded in convincing somebody to do something, especially by way of reasoning, pleading, or coaxing them into a different frame of mind. The verse speaks volumes.
Contextually speaking persuaded refers to the act of changing one’s mind by convincing and available evidence or proof. Paul had proof and evidence that by the grace of God he was able to survive the many trials and tribulations experienced in his preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. With the blessed experiences to his credit his acceptance of the reality of God’s grace was proof enough, for him to use in persuading others (Gentiles). The things God has done for me He will do for you, all thing are possible. Paul makes the point to his audience that although you can have anything, nothing can separate the child of God from the love of God. The persuasive proof was displayed in the life, death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus our Lord.
There is another deep underlying message found in the Psalms of David: “Sing praise to the Lord, You saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:4-5). King David is fully persuaded that there is a great reward in our willingness to transition from one emotional state–sorrow, to a more uplifting state–joy by means of favor. He leaves little room for doubt in the believer’s mind he is speaking from personal experience, favor is very persuasive.
Regardless of when or where, remembrance of who you are, “saints,” and whose you are, “saints of His,” recognition of God is the foundation of being persuaded—changing your mind. If you have lived your life without being fully persuaded of the grace of God, you must change your mind about Him. You must stop thinking of Him as something less than Lord, Master and Maker of the universe. You must humbly acknowledge His right to
define what is right—and wrong—for you, these definitions are found in His holy Words. Finally, you must trust Him to reconcile you to Himself through His only begotten Son Jesus Christ.
We can set our will against obstinence (unwillingness to be persuaded) just as we do against any other sin; and as we stand firm and refuse to doubt, the Holy Spirit will come to our aid and give us the faith of God and crown us with victory. It is very easy to fall into the habit of doubting, fretting, and wondering if God has forsaken us and if after all our hopes are to end in failure. Refuse to be discouraged. Refuse to be unhappy. “Count it all joy” when we cannot feel one emotion of happiness. Let us rejoice by faith, by resolution, by reckoning, and we shall surely find that God will make the reckoning real. “One man esteems one day above another: esteems every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind” (Romans 14:5).
They who are God’s without reservation, are in every way content; for they will only what He wills, and want to do for Him whatever He desires them to do; they strip themselves of everything, and in their nakedness find all things restored a hundredfold. The great patriarchs and servants of Jehovah found in Old Testament Scriptures, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and Job; “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were PERSUADED of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13). So are we my friends, so are we, either persuaded, fully persuaded or not we are strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
- Consider Your Ways (sabbathsermons.com)