The end goal is the end

Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.” (James 5:11 NKJV)

The end goal is the end. By this I mean the beginning is trumped by the end. The middle is trumped by the end. The end of the matter, whatever the matter may have been in our eyes or the eyes of others, matters to the furthest extent … because, after all, that extent is the end.

The finish line is always the goal for the right-minded runner who begins the race (1 Corinthians 9:24-25). The course will challenge that goal. But the end must remain the goal, or else the run will turn into a walk, which turns into standing idle, which turns into sitting for a break, which turns into not getting back up. If this happens the end will not be the goal we originally had in mind. Keep the end in mind!

Job didn’t know how the book of Job would end. But James’ admonition is given with the understanding that we know how the story ended! And if, in the midst of trials and troubles, we keep the end in mind (by that I mean the end God has in mind for us – 2 Corinthians 5:1), we can know how our book will end too.

Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.” (Hebrews 10:38-39 NKJV)

#perseverance, #spiritual-goals, #spiritual-race

Woman passes driving test on 950th try

Don’t Give Up

A South Korean woman finally passed her driving test—on her 950th attempt.

68-year-old Cha Sa-soon had been taking the written test every day since April 13, 2005, except for weekends and holidays. She had spent the equivalent of $4,200 on application fees. The test consisted of 50 multiple-choice questions on road regulations and car maintenance. She finally scored the requisite 60 percent. She wanted a license so she could drive her vegetables to market. After her 775th failure, Mrs. Cha said, “I believe you can achieve your goal if you persistently pursue it.”

Sometimes it takes a lot of perseverance to attain our goals: “…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1).

Reference: “Woman passes 950th driving test,” (11/6/09); Leo Lewis, “South Korean woman, 68, passes driving theory test on 950th attempt,” (11/9/09).

Thoughts for Today to Brighten Your Day, Glenn, Mercedes and Lauren Hitchcock

#perseverance, #persistence

But they were armed with faith and patience…

But they were armed with faith and patience against him and all his encounters; and though they were sometimes foiled, yet by God’s assistance they prevailed and got the victory.

Wm. Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation

#faith, #perseverance, #quotes

Hugh’s News & Views (“It Ain’t Over”)



Three times this year during the regular major league baseball season a pitcher got as far as two outs in the ninth inning with a no-hitter only for an opposing batter to get a hit and the no-hitter go down the drain. On April 9, Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers lost his bid for a no-hitter against the Houston Astros after getting as far as two outs in the ninth inning without surrendering a hit. San Francisco’s Yusmeiro Petit did the same against the Arizona Diamondbacks on September 6. Then on September 25 St. Louis Cardinals’ rookie pitcher, Michael Wacha, had a no-hitter going with two outs in the ninth when the Washington Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman beat out a slow chopper over the pitcher’s head for an infield hit. The play at first was not even close. The Cardinals’ shortstop fielded the slow high bouncing ball with his bare hand and hurried his throw to first base, pulling the first baseman off the bag. As the ball left Zimmerman’s bat several on the Cardinals’ bench had started to climb over the dugout railing, ready to pour onto the field to celebrate a no-hitter. Second baseman Matt Carpenter did a little hop, all set for the final out. But it was not to be; the no-hitter was lost. (The next Nationals’ batter grounded out and Wacha wound up with a one-hitter and the Cardinals won 2-0.) On the last day of the regular season, Miami Marlins’ rookie pitcher Henderson Alvarez threw a no-hitter against the Detroit Tigers. Ironically, the Marlins’ lone run scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth with Alvarez himself waiting in the batter’s box to be the next hitter. Of the 282 no-hitters in major league history, it is the only one to end on a wild pitch.

Baseball great and New York Yankees Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” (Yogi went on to make another name for himself as the originator of “philosophical” statements!) The statement expresses a biblical truth, though it is unlikely that Yogi intended it as such. Jesus reminded His apostles, “He who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22). To the tribulation-torn saints in Smyrna Jesus said, “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10, KJV, ASV, RSV). (I understand that in the context Jesus is likely saying, “Be faithful even to the point of dying for your faith [suffering martyrdom].” But we also are urged to be faithful until death to be faithful to Christ all the days of our lives. [See Revelation 2:10 in the NKJV and NASV, as well as the overall teaching of the New Testament regarding fidelity to the Lord]).

One of the apostle Paul’s many co-laborers in the gospel was a man by the name of Demas. In Colossians 4:14 and Philemon 24 (both written around A. D. 61-63), Demas is mentioned favorably, along with such men as Epaphras, Mark, Aristarchus, and Luke. Regrettably, however, by the time Paul penned his last letterII Timothyin about A. D. 67-68 Demas had forsaken Paul (and, by implication, the cause of Christ), “having loved this present world” (II Timothy 4:10). Think about it: For years a faithful worker for the Lord, only to throw it all away toward the end! The pages of the Bible as well as the pages of the history of those committed to the restoration of apostolic Christianity bear record of apostates, turncoats, defectors, and quitters. How unspeakably sad!

How different it was with Paul himself. Starting out in life as a raging enemy of Christ and a rabid persecutor of Christians, Paul was converted to the Lord and spent the rest of his life faithfully serving Him. As he approached the end of his life he wrote, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto them also that love his appearing” (II Timothy 4:6-8).

The Lord does not expect us to pitch a no-hitter in life (to be sinlessly perfect). He does expect us to be faithful. He wants us to persevere to the endto “run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). He wants us to know that “it ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

Hugh Fulford

October 1, 2013

#hughfulford, #perseverance, #salvation

The Amazing Enduring Perseverance of the Apostle Paul

Just think about this for a second:

in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.” (2 Corinthians 11:27-28 – NKJV)

If you’re familiar with this section of scripture then you’ll know that this is only a snippet of the turmoil’s that Paul experienced while spreading the word of God. It was a daily battle that could be summed up with the old saying, “there’s no rest for the weary.” Physically, mentally and spiritually, Paul was a target of the lion who was roaming about (1 Peter 5:8). But he hung in there! But how?

The success of Paul’s enduring perseverance can easily be seen in his willingness to keep his eye’s on Jesus and his hope in the grace of God found in the gospel of Christ (Hebrews 12:1-3, Romans 8:23-25). Paul encouraged people to follow him as he followed Jesus knowing full well that the path to eternal life was only found by following the steps of the Savior (1 Corinthians 11:1, Philippians 3:20-21; Hebrews 2:9-10). He loved the word of God, the gospel that it contained, the church that it produced and the people whose names filled the Lamb’s Book of Life, and even those who had not yet been added.

An enduring perseverance like Paul’s doesn’t happen accidentally and it doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t happen by sitting on the sidelines. An enduring perseverance comes by trials, by bearing fruit, by faithfulness and by holding strong to the words and love of Jesus that won’t allow our burdens to become too heavy to keep us from following Him (Matthew 7:24-29, 11:28-30).

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” (Hebrews 11:13)

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

#apostle-paul, #christian-living, #christianity, #endurance, #following-jesus, #perseverance

Diligence Is Faithfulness Under Duress

Would you trust God when nothing in your life seems to be going right? Would you diligently hold to your faith when you cannot explain why terrible things are happening to you? Do you sometimes question the faithfulness of God? Do doubts arise in your heart and your mind, when it feels like He has abandoned His care for you?

Satan has already shown his true colors. He would like nothing more than to create the seed of doubt and disbelief in your heart. And there is seldom an easier time to do that than when you are under inexplicable duress.

Your heart cries out, “Why is this happening?” Brothers and sisters, THINK OF JOB, and keep on keeping on. Keep on believing. Keep on trusting. Keep on praying. Keep on working.

Job inexplicably lost everything he counted of value. The whole book of Job is his asking, “Why?” This man, whom the God of Heaven praised so highly, was not protected from complete financial ruin, devastating emotional destruction through family death, debilitating physical illness, complete loss of reputation and even the loss of his wife’s support. How could it get much worse? He wished that he had never been born.

But God had not forsaken him and He will not forsake you (Heb.13:5-6). When we do not understand why such devastation is happening to us, we can, at least, know that God knows and He cares (1 Pet. 5:7).

If we die in the worst of conditions, but die with diligently obedient and trusting faith, it will no matter what our condition was before we died. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord…” (Rev. 14:13).

God has already said of such people that the world is not worthy to have them in it (Heb. 11:32-38).

My friend, be diligent. God will not abandon you, even if it seems like it from our poor human thinking (Is. 55:8-11). Keep on keeping on.

Mike Glenn

#diligence, #endurance, #faithfulness, #perseverance

Lifetime Diligence In Service

Our slogan this month is “keep on keeping on.” It is an expression about diligent action. But there is so much in which we can be diligent. What, exactly, are the things in which we are to keep on keeping on?

One of those things can be understood in the actions of Jesus. Acts 10:38 records that Jesus spent His lifetime going about doing good. Jesus, on the occasion of the last Passover meal of His life, taught the disciples that they were to spend their life in service to others (John 13:1-15). It is no wonder then that we find that our reward or punishment pronounced at the judgment will, in part (there are many parts), be based upon our lifetime service to those in difficult situations (Matt. 25:31-46). Some of the types of folks to which we must minister are the hungry, the thirsty, the stranded stranger, the sick, the naked, and those in prison.

You will notice two or three particular points about those in the above mentioned situations.

  • First, such people are always with us. All of our lifetime, we will hear or know of people in these difficult situations. We will never run out of the opportunity to serve others.
  • Second, to give even a brief relief or comfort to any of these folks will require us to go the extra mile. None of this can be done from our pews or armchairs. That means, that for a lifetime, Jesus wants us to plan enough spare time in our days and weeks that we can use it fruitfully in helping folks such as these.

Friends, can it be the case that we should not fill our lives with so much that we enjoy and want? Should we, like Job, search out the people around us to whom we can become servants? Would it be better to fill our children’s lives with examples and opportunities for service rather than quite so much recreation, team sports, boys and girls organizations or too much play time?

Two passages that continually come to my mind as I think about diligence are 1 Cor. 15:58 and Gal. 6:9-10. We are:

  • To be steadfast
  • To always abound
  • In the work of the Lord
  • To not become weary
  • In doing good (as our Lord did)
  • To do good to all men

So, let’s keep on keeping on.

Mike Glenn

#diligence, #good-works, #perseverance, #service