Fr. Larry Richards is the founder and president of The Reason for our Hope Foundation, a non- profit organization dedicated to "spreading the Good News" by educating others about Jesus Christ. His new homilies are posted each week.
Manage episode 285529584 series 2106353
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Text: Hebrews 12:1-3 Perseverance - To keep doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success Perseverance does not describe a sort of grim resignation or a passive ‘grin and bear’ attitude but a triumphant facing of difficult circumstances knowing that even out of evil God guarantees good. It has in it a forward look, the ability to focus on what is beyond the current pressures e.g. Jesus. ‘Who for the joy set before Him endured the Cross despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2b It does not come through self-effort and positive thinking but through the Holy Spirit who lives in us He and He alone is our Source. So don’t ever think you can carry on living the Christian life in your own strength, it is the Holy Spirit who enables us to keep going The fact that we endure to the end indicates that we are genuine because we have the indwelling Holy Spirit, Who alone can enable such an endurance even in the face of persecution. This is why we can rely on gospel of Jesus because if it were not true, had the Holy Spirit not been at work in the disciples then when persecution and reality of death came they would not have endured to the end. We have through the indwelling Holy Spirit, the one who alone can enable such good deeds John 15:5 Jesus reminds us I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. Paul explains that the source of a believer's perseverance in his prayer for the Colossians 1:11 that they be strengthened with all power (dunamis), according to His glorious might for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience The point is that both the steadfastness and the patience called for in the life of a believer cannot be lived in the sphere of mere human strength but requires the supernatural strength of the Holy Spirit. Therefore Paul prays that the believers might know the power of the risen Son of God . Note that from this text, there is no power shortage because it is ‘according to His glorious might’. In other words, His power is available to us to remain steadfast to persevere He offers us limitless power. Perseverance is that spiritual staying power that will die before it gives in. It is the virtue which can endure, not simply with resignation, but with a vibrant hope. Perseverance involves doing what is right and never giving in to the temptation or trial. It is a conquering patience or conquering endurance. It gives us the ability to deal triumphantly with anything that life can do to us. It accepts the blows of life but in accepting them transforms them into stepping stones to new opportunity. It tells you that if you fall down, you pick something up whilst you’re down there. Whilst self-control has to do with correctly handling the pleasures of life, perseverance relates to the correct handling of the pressures and problems of life. Perseverance describes a spirit that remains under trials in a God-honouring way so as to learn the lesson they are sent to teach, rather than attempt to get out from under them in an effort to be relieved of their pressure. If you are persevering in faith today, you owe it to the blood of Jesus. The Holy Spirit, who is working in you to preserve your faith, is honouring the purchase of Jesus. God the Spirit works in us what God the Son obtained for us. The Father planned it. Jesus bought it. The Spirit applies it all of them infallibly. Jeremiah 32:40 I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. God is totally committed to the perseverance and eternal security of His blood-bought children.