Pastor has been going through Hebrews on Sunday mornings. He's been in the book for well over 2 years, but we're in chapter 12 finally! When we started attending BBC we were in the last part of chapter 10..... that was over a year ago. Tells you how in depth he gets! It really has been interesting and eye opening to go through it with so much detail. Anyhow... yesterday we started chapter 12. The title of the message was "Never Give Up". He took us back to chapter 10 verse 36 where Paul writes "For you have need of perseverance (patient endurance), so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise" then onto chapter 12 verses 1-4 "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses (those from chapter 11), let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with (patient) endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the JOY that was set before Him endured (patiently) the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured (patiently) such hostility from sinners against Himself, let you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin."
I was thinking about a book I read about a girl named Anne Askew. She was a young woman, about my age, who was martyred for her faith during the reign of Henry VII in England. She truly endured with patience the race that was set before her. There is one section in the book just before she was 'arrested' where she actually bakes her Bible into a loaf of bread so that it will not be destroyed by the men hunting her. Her servant, and friend, finds it later and is saved herself. Pastor talked about the fact that life requires endurance. People mistreat us and disappoint us. Our circumstances may require endurance. Trials bring about spiritual fruit. The harvest does not come easily or overnight. "Whether the outcome of our lives looks good or bad, we should never give up (for the testimony of Christ) faithfully trusting God." - Pastor V-
Will I be able to remain steadfast and unmovable when the trials in my life cause me to resist and strive against sin unto bloodshed? Not only that, but will I be able to do it with JOY????