The Tenacious

And you will be hated by everyone because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (Mat 10:22)

Oh, wouldn't it be nice if we just all got along? Yeah. Wouldn't it be great if I could say what I have to say, and you say what you have to say, and then we mull over and ponder what the other said. That would be a good way, too. Why all this I'm right, you're wrong, and so on?

Wouldn't it be great if we could talk about Jesus, His teachings, His sacrifice, and His glory and have everyone jump for joy? Yep, that too. Sigh. It ain't a-gonna happen...

So, what does happen is -- controversy, contention, discord, and outright hatred whenever "religious stuff" comes up. That's what Jesus predicted, and it has proven to be true for two-thousand (or so) years.

If it was only those who do not believe in Jesus, it would make sense. Of course, there is just as much controversy between believers as there is with non-believers. Just like Job's friends, we have all encountered those who will tell us our problems are because we have offended God. Hummph. That's not what Jesus said, is it? He said, "YOU WILL BE HATED BECAUSE OF ME." So, it will happen. (I have a few thoughts on that, about why so much controversy, but it's off the subject, so I'll stick to this...)


There will be controversy. There will be hatred. There will be division. And it will last "until the end." No gettin' around it, might as well deal with it, because it will ALWAYS be that way. So, how DO you "deal with it?" Right? It's easy to say "ENDURE" but not so easy to actualize the idea. Who among us hasn't said, "I QUIT" at some point?

You don't get to quit. At least, not once you have said, "I will live by faith." You see, living by faith means to endure to the end. The moment you quit is the point where you have lost faith. Faith requires tenacity. So, that's what you do. DON'T QUIT. That's how you endure. And we CAN endure because we KNOW GOD is working on our behalf. Even when it's all a mess, faith says God will see me through if I don't quit.

The reason is that there is something big at stake here: the souls of mankind. Even more important, God's glory is in question. (That's what the story of Job is all about, ya know?) There are adversaries of God who don't want His word proven true and who don't want anyone to believe in Him. They can't stand the thought of man having to be rescued by Jesus ‘cuz we messed it all up. Their ego, their pride, and all that, is at stake, too. So, here's the deal - the FACT that we endure is PROOF of God's power to deliver us, and PROOF that we have been made righteous before God. See? No? Well, think about it.

Human nature is self-serving. We want the good life, no worries about necessities and plenty of excitement and entertainment, love and good will from all, etc. We also have an instinct to control everything in our immediate environment. So, the easy way out is to compromise, go-along-and-get-along, avoid all that nasty controversy and just enjoy yourself. But when you find a man (or woman) who will withstand the hatred and bitterness and attacks just because... And, someone whose life seems to be out of control yet somehow makes it through... Well, now you have something: a witness and a testimony of a power greater than man's intelligence, planning and will-power. You have proof-positive of God's power to deliver in spite of all the adversaries working against those who love Him.

There is one other thing important here: TO THE END. It does end. Usually, the end is only temporary and new controversy comes up. But it does end. That's part of the promise here as well. If we endure, it will end. Maybe it will end during our life on earth, and maybe it will end when we step out of this life into the next. But in either case, we can make it through, because: .

But back to the practical matter of how this is done. Simple: PRACTICE. It is not natural to keep going against the grain when people hate you and criticize. But the more often you endure until the end, the better you get at endurance. So, make reminding yourself of these important ideas part of a daily routine. Sit down and write out the things you need to remember every day and post it somewhere prominent, like on the back of the door to where you live, or your bathroom mirror, or the refrigerator, etc. That way you are sure to see it often and be reminded. Pretty soon it sticks in the mind. Write things like, "They will hate you, but you can endure," and "Faith takes practice," and "It will end," and "Jesus said He will never forsake me," etc. Pick out Bible verses that help you endure and memorize them, too. It's programming your mind to think along these lines by repetition. Repeat these things to yourself every day and pretty soon it sticks in your memory. Then, after a while, it becomes a force of habit. Controversy arises, but instead of getting angry and bitter, the mind has been programmed to think, "Jesus said it would be like this but I can endure."

And then you will make it through, because you trusted in the one who can help you to endure.


Bookmark and Share