Staying Power

” … my beloved brethren, be firm (steadfast), immovable, alway abounding in the work of the Lord … “

 

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What do you think of when you see or hear  this expression “staying power”?  Endurance, perseverance, commitment come to mind perhaps. I remember ironing men’s shirts as a young adult which often had “stays” at the end points of the collars, to help the collars stay down.  I also think of a message many years ago where Dr.Stevens talked about the stays of a boat’s mast, that help keep it vertical, as he was illustrating the Christian’s need to keep his/her mind stayed on the Lord (Isaiah 26:3).  Then there is the term  mainstay  that is used to describe something or someone that is more or less the “invariable” of a group, of a situation or event, of a curriculum or even of a diet.  With all of these terms the word “stay” implies a sense of being established, of unchangeableness, even of permanence.  When the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, encouraging them to have “staying power” (without using the term), he implored them:  ” Therefore, my beloved brethren, be firm (steadfast), immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord [ always excelling, doing more than enough in the service of the Lord], … being continually aware that your labor in the Lord is not futile (it is never wasted or to no purpose).”  (I Cor.15:58)  But how to do this is such uncertain, unstable times in which we now live?

 

We receive Grace to take courage and live in the Finished Work.

 

He knows that His Grace is sufficient for us to stand in Him, in Grace, in Truth, and thus be immovable in these last days. Click To Tweet

 

“Therefore” in I Corinthians 15:58 … what does it refer back to?  Looking at verse 57 helps explain:  “But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory (making us conquerors) through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Therefore … we don’t have to lose heart and grow weary and faint in doing good, but in due time we will reap, if we don’t lose courage and faint (Galatians 6:9).  Furthermore, we keep in mind, by faith, that He Who knows the end from the beginning sees us as strong in Him, more than conquerors;  He knows that His Grace is sufficient for us to stand in Him, in Grace, in Truth, and thus be immovable in these last days.  Now let’s consider something else that greatly contributes to “staying power” …

 

“The Love that Christ has for me presses on me from all sides, holding me to one end …”

 

Trusting His unconditional, unchanging, unending, unfathomable Love for us is perhaps the most powerful factor in staying power. Click To Tweet

 

Not our love for HIM, but His Love for us.  II Corinthians 5:14 continues:  ” and prohibiting me from considering any other, wrapping itself around me in tenderness,giving me an impelling motive … ” (Kenneth Wuest translation).  Trusting this unconditional, unchanging, unending, unfathomable Love for us is perhaps the most powerful factor in staying power.   When we are persuaded of His Love for us, we can’t help but have our mind, our thoughts, stayed on Him, which will indeed keep us in perfect peace;  and we’ll not want to do anything that would hurt that Love.

 

Gazing upon, not just glancing at, Him helps us keep our minds stayed upon  Him.

 

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Pastor Schaller recently said in a devotional “Calm yourself, slow down, get quiet before Him”, which brought to mind Isaiah 41:1 – “Listen in silence before Him … “.  In other words, don’t just glance at but gaze upon Him, look long upon Him, see what He’s like, what He says, what He’s done;  think long about  what He says about Himself, what He says about you.  Then listen for what He is saying at the moment to you about a situation you’re in or about the needs of others or about a new thing He is going to do in your life.  This will help furnish you with staying power for what lies ahead.

 

Embracing and meditating upon precious promises will help develop staying power.

 

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The Word of God is filled with encouragement regarding steadfastness in the Lord.  For example:  Isaiah 26:3, which has been alluded to already, promises:  “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon You …”.  Next, in Hebrews 12:2, we read:  “Looking away from all that will distract to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith … and also its Finisher … He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the Cross, despising the shame …”.  How did He endure the Cross, and stay faithful to the Father’s Plan and Eternal Purpose?  He set us before His face.  How do we stay faithful to His Plan, Will, and Purpose for our lives amidst the hardships of life on earth?  We set Him before our faces, and because He is at our right hand, we shall not be moved (Psalm 16:8).  We “set our minds and keep them set on things Above and not on things of the earth” (Colossians 3:2).   This is staying power! Then in Psalm 119:11 and Philippians 4:8 we see how storing up the Word of God in our hearts can keep us on spiritual track:  I lay up whatsoever is true, lovely, honest, pure – i.e., the Word of God – in my heart.  I meditate upon and firmly fasten my mind on these things that I might not sin against God.  We will be like the person described in Psalm 112:7,8 –  “He shall not be afraid of evil tidings;  his heart is firmly fixed, trusting (leaning on and being confident) in the Lord.  His heart is established and steady; … ”  David also wrote:  “My heart is fixed, O Lord, my heart is steadfast and confident.” (Psalm 57:7)  Why? How? Because of what I’ve learned and now know about You from Your Word.  And the trials which You have sent have served to make me lean hard on You and trust wholeheartedly in Your Word … Your Word which has never proven false nor ineffective. Thus, Lord, by Your Grace, I have had staying power.

 

“Blessed is the man whom You discipline and instruct, O Lord, and teach out of your law, that You may give him power to keep himself calm in the days of adversity, until the pit of corruption is dug for the wicked.”  (Psalm 94:12,13)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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