Friday, February 29, 2008

More Thoughts on Oswald

From My Utmost For His Highest Feb. 22

"Be still, and know that I am God..." (Psalm 46:10)

"Perseverance is more than endurance. It is endurance combined with absolute assurance and certainty that what we are looking for is going to happen. Perseverance means more than just hanging on, which may be only exposing our fear of letting go and falling. Perseverance is our supreme effort of refusing to believe that our hero is going to be conquered. Our greatest fear is not that we will be damned, but that somehow Jesus Christ will be defeated. Also, our fear is that the very things our Lord stood for -- love, justice, forgiveness, and kindness among men -- will not win out in the end and will represent an unattainable goal for us. Then there is the call to spiritual perseverance. A call not to hang on and do nothing, but to work deliberately, knowing with certainty that God will never be defeated.

"If our hopes seem to be experiencing disappointment right now, it simply means that they are being purified. Every hope or dream of the human mind will be fulfilled if it is noble and of God. But one of the greatest stresses in life is the stress of waiting for God. He brings fulfillment, 'because you have kept My command to persevere...' (Revelation 3:10).

"Continue to persevere spiritually."

When I first wrote thoughts on this, it was the issue of our hopes and dreams that I wrote about. Honestly, when I first read it, that wasn't what stuck out to me, but at the time I began writing, it was as if there was something else I needed to say. Anway, originally, it was the concept of perseverance that originally caught my attention, since it is the main topic. I believe God's taught me a lot about perseverance, especially during the 3 years I raised support. Of course, He also taught me a lot about endurance. The two do seem to go hand in hand.

However, as Oswald describes perseverance, I smack my head. "I could've had a V-8!" Kidding. Anyway, all of a sudden, things make a little more sense. I've always had this sense of exactly what he says perseverance isn't. I always thought of it as hanging on by the skin of my teeth, barely getting through, but getting through. There's a much stronger element of faith involved in persevering. Faith that God will win, will come through, and in such amazing ways as we could ever hope. Faith that, despite moments, or even years, of silence, God will answer, and speak to us. As we are obedient to Him, to the truths we believe, to the path we're called to (even when it feels like it goes on without change), He is continuing to work through us and in us. Persevering is continuing to pursue Him and His will, even when it seems like there are no answers, because we hold on to faith in His abilities, power, strength, and love.

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