The Perseverance of Faith
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My parents recently celebrated their 50th anniversary, a momentous occasion in any marriage. Add to their story many years of ministry together, and their testimony of God’s faithfulness is unending. It was normal growing up to see the Lord fulfill His promises to them by working through the body of Christ to meet our needs. I can say with King David that I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread (Psalm 37:25 NIV).
Don’t get me wrong, they intentionally went without a lot of worldly possessions so that they could serve others. They are two of the most generous people I know! As a kid, I thought it strange that we never had cable TV or even a VCR. I was a junior in high school before we got a TV that had a remote. Looking back, those were silly things to focus on. As a teenager, however, they were a big deal to me. Now I greatly appreciate the things that they prioritized as they laid down their lives for the call of God.
I was also a junior before they bought a house of their own. Up to that point we had always lived in church parsonages. Yet, our home was never without love or family stability. They kept Jesus as the focus and their marriage was never an issue. From my father pastoring three different churches and my mother wearing many different ministry hats, to 25 years of dad evangelizing and mom teaching public school, their impact on multitudes of people through the years has been incredible. Their main aim has been for others to come to know Jesus through recognizing the love that He has for them.
They remind me of the description used by the writer of Hebrews:
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:13-16)
Our greatest promise is still the second coming of our Lord Jesus; my parents mention this often. This earth is not our real home; Jesus went to prepare a place for us. While we wait to see this ultimate promise fulfilled, all of God’s promises are still “yes” and “amen” in Him. (2 Corinthians 1:20). The biblical figures above, and many others in Hebrews 11, are an encouragement to us of how worthwhile it is to trust in God’s promises.
May you be encouraged today that Jesus is carrying out your faith to completion (Philippians 1:6). While faith requires perseverance, we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses cheering us on and letting us know it will all be worth it when we see His face!
Scripture is quoted from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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