Fortitude: Focused Perseverance

Jesus is our excellent example of focused perseverance.  Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

We learn perseverance as we go through our trials.  Hebrews 5:8 is another example from Jesus.  It says, “Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.”

Here is instruction from Paul for our obedience.  2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

Any thought opposed to the nature and will of God must be brought into obedience.  What kind of thoughts oppose?  Anything negative against yourself, others, or circumstances beyond your control.

In 1977, I fell head first into a six foot ravine.  It caused a severe brain injury.  I thought my health was failing.  It was an escalating injury that was beyond my control.  I didn’t remember falling for 3 1/2 years.

Our trials bear fruit that glorifies the Lord when we take our wayward thoughts captive.  We learn lessons we could not have learned any other way.  He gives us rich insights to help us navigate.  He brings us into deeper intimacy with Himself that sustains and fortifies our spirit man.  Trials are an essential part of our spiritual maturity.

Here is the progression from Romans 5:3-4.  It says, “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

Our trials purify our faith.  They make it stronger because we are continually adding to it as we endure.  2 Peter 1:5 says, “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith…”  Verse 6 says that one of the things we add is perseverance.

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