Jesus said: ‘God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it!…For a great reward awaits you in heaven’ (vv.11-12 NLT). Endurance is really important if we’re going to live for God. So how can we endure when life gets tough? Paul writes, ‘Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong’ (1 Corinthians 16:13 NIV). Let’s break this verse down: 1) Be on your guard. The devil knows we have the potential to make a difference in God’s kingdom and he wants to stop us. In John 10, we’re told: ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy’ (v.10 NIV). So we need to protect ourselves and make sure we’re ready for his attack. 2) Stand firm in the faith. We can’t stand on our circumstances or other people’s opinions, because those things constantly change. We need to stand on the unchangeable Word of God. 3) Be courageous. When we’re facing a battle, we have a choice. We can give in to fear or be courageous. God said: ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged’ (Joshua 1:9 NIV). 4) Be strong. The enemy will always attack us in our weak areas. And his attack will usually come just when we’re about to do something amazing for God. Living for God isn’t easy; we have to rely on His strength and fight battles. God told His people that the Promised Land was theirs, but they had to fight for it. Only those who were willing to fight got to enter it. Are we willing to endure through the fight?
Write out 1 Corinthians 16:13 and put it somewhere where you’ll see it often. Declare it out loud when you’re tempted to give up.
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