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Ignite: Anything | Perseverence

This sermon was prepared and preached by Pastor Mike Rose at First Federated Church in Des
Moines, Iowa, on Sunday, June 29, 2008.
Copyright © 2008, First Federated Church

This morning brings us to the end of our focus on the 2008 Missions Conference Theme: Ignite:
Anywhere, Anything, Any Cost.

The Cost? = Everything you have, Everything you are, Everything you hope to be. Jesus said: “If
anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”
Matthew 16:24, New American Standard Bible (NASB).

The Place? = Anywhere Jesus says go. Jesus said: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit
has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem (hometown) and in all Judea
(The next town) and Samaria (the town after that) even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:8,
NASB

The Thing? For a long time I’ve prayed to God: “Anything God. Just show me what you want and I
will do it.” Then several weeks ago, God responded with three words: Purity, Patience,
Perseverance. I confess at times I doubted if these words had significance for anyone beyond myself,
but your response has confirmed that they are not just for me, but for US, First Federated Church.

Purity is important because without it God will not use us as His agents for life transformation in the
Des Moines Metro Area.

Patience is crucial because there is preparatory work that God must do to equip and make us ready
for the ultimate ministry He desires to use us for.

Perseverance is required because as we go through God’s preparatory work and enter the ministry
He sustained us to do, there will be many trials and tribulations that will call us to quit.

But we must not quit! For God, who called us and is equipping us, will perfect us for His use – As
the Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatian believers – 9… let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due
season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9, ESV.

Giving up – quitting – is the easiest, most natural thing to do when things are tough, and you’re not
seeing the results you think you should see.

But when God has called you to a ministry, unless He calls you away from that ministry, it’s
always too early to quit.

This morning I want us to see The Call To Perseverance, An Example of Perseverance, The Payoff of
Perseverance

I. The Call To Perseverance

As you turn to 2 Peter 1, let’s consider the difference between patience and perseverance. Patience
has to do with the ability to wait. Perseverance has to do with the ability to stand or withstand – to
keep going despite trial and/or difficulty.

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In 2 Peter 1:6 Peter names perseverance as one of the key character traits to be developed in the life
of a believer. Beginning with verse 2 and following, (New King James Version, NKJV) 2Grace and
peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3as His divine power has
given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us
by glory and virtue, 4by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that
through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the
world through lust.

Verses 2-4 talk of the things God gives us. He simply imparts them with no shared work on our part.
Verses 5 and following speak of things God calls us to cooperate with Him to develop. These are not
simply imparted, nor can we attain them without His help. But we are responsible, working in the
power of the Holy Spirit, to add these to our life.

5
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6to
knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7to godliness
brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8For if these things are yours and abound, you will
be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9For he who lacks these
things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

Seven character traits we are called to develop, one being perseverance: the ability to
stand/withstand in the face of adversity.

I bring this to our attention, because, if we are going to be used of God to reach the lost and grow to
maturity the saved, we must be able to persevere in the face of adversity. We cannot be weak
believers that wilt, run, hide, bolt, bail or jump ship when circumstances and situations aren’t going
our way.

Now, if God didn’t call you to your post, then by all means find the post He has called you to. But
once there, remain until He calls you away.

An incredible statistic relating to perseverance, or its lack, is the average tenure of a pastor in
America: 36 or fewer months. Think about it. With major leadership changing every 36 months, or
oftener, is it any wonder that the Church in America is in serious decline? Thirty-six months is barely
enough time to develop relationships, learn the community and establish a foundation from which
ministry will be launched.

And why do we see pastors moving from church to church at such a rapid pace? Interestingly, it’s at
the 24-36 month point that most pastors begin to experience adversity, and not liking adversity, the
temptation is to jump to a new pasture where things appear to be greener.

And it’s not just pastors, but parishioners also jump ship when things aren’t going their way.

It’s like we think that when things aren’t going our way, something’s wrong with the people or
situations around us.

No one seems to think that maybe, the adversity around us is part of God’s plan to mold and shape us
into the vessels He wants for His service.

Perseverance – God calls us to cooperate with Him in its development and outgrowth in our
lives.

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II. The Apostle Paul, An Example of Perseverance

We live in a time when some who “appear” to be God’s choicest servants live in what “appears” to be
the lap of luxury. And because of this appearance, I fear that many believers think that walking with
God equals no trials or tribulations. But such was not the case for our Lord Jesus, nor was it true for
His choicest servants.

The Apostle Paul stands out as a man used of God in great and glorious ways, yet he faced enormous
trials and tribulations. His life and ministry serve as an example of Perseverance.

Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian Church gives us several examples of Paul’s Perseverance.

2 Corinthians 1:8-9, (New Living Translation, NLT) 8I think you ought to know, dear brothers and
sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and completely
overwhelmed, and we thought we would never live through it. 9In fact, we expected to die. But as a
result, we learned not to rely on ourselves, but on God who can raise the dead.

2 Corinthians 4:8-12, NLT - 8We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not
crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit. 9We are hunted down,
but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep
going. 10Through suffering, these bodies of ours constantly share in the death of Jesus so that
the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. 11Yes, we live under constant danger of death
because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be obvious in our dying bodies. 12So we
live in the face of death, but it has resulted in eternal life for you.

Picking up with verse 15, take note of Paul’s outlook on the trials he endures: 15All of these things are
for your benefit. And as God’s grace brings more and more people to Christ, there will be great
thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
16
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every
day. 17For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an
immeasurably great glory that will last forever! 18So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right
now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over,
but the joys to come will last forever.

2 Corinthians 6:3-10, NLT - 3We try to live in such a way that no one will be hindered from finding
the Lord by the way we act, and so no one can find fault with our ministry. 4In everything we do we
try to show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and
calamities of every kind. 5We have been beaten, been put in jail, faced angry mobs, worked to
exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. 6We have proved ourselves by our
purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, our sincere love, and the power of the Holy
Spirit. 7We have faithfully preached the truth. God’s power has been working in us. We have
righteousness as our weapon, both to attack and to defend ourselves. 8We serve God whether people
honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us
impostors. 9We are well known, but we are treated as unknown. We live close to death, but here we
are, still alive. We have been beaten within an inch of our lives. 10Our hearts ache, but we always
have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have
everything.

WOW! Do you see the double face that Paul’s life presents? On the one hand, you see a man living in
the worst possible situation. And on the other, you see him filled with a joy and peace that only God
can give.
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Good News! That same strength, joy and peace that filled The Apostle Paul, is not reserved for him
only– It’s available to anyone who will release their life to the plan and purpose of God

Not that your life will be free from trial and tribulation, but that you will have supernatural ability to
see beyond it and rejoice in the greater result

Speaking of Results – What is the Result of cultivating the growth of perseverance in your Life?

III. The Payoff of Perseverance

I return to Galatians 6:9, ESV - 9…let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will
reap, if we do not give up.

If God brought you into an endeavor in the past, and now He (God) is calling you away from that, lay
it down and follow Him. But, just because things are rough, just because there are trials, just because
things aren’t going the way you thought they would, is no reason to quit!

God calls us to persevere, to set our focus and desire on Him, to draw our strength from Him and
keep on going.

In life and ministry there will always be compelling reasons to give-up. But there is no joy, no peace,
no reward for throwing in the towel.

Draw strength from your relationship with Jesus, allow Him to be the center of your life and you will
see a harvest of blessing that will make the trials and tribulations seem little when compared to the
joy of Jesus’ purpose being fulfilled in you.

God’s Words to me: Purity, Patience, Perseverance

Under His direction, I have delivered them to you, I now invite you to join me in the struggle and the
joy of seeing them worked out in our lives.

The First Federated Church copyright, above, is for the sermon itself, not for any items quoted in the
sermon, unless otherwise stated. All quoted items are done so in good faith, and the source is
attributed when it is known.

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