by Rodney Francis

When we look closely at where many Christians are at in
their lives, and what they are (or are not) accomplishing, we
realize that we do have to keep encouraging one another to enable
us to fulfil the calling and purpose of God for our lives. He has not
called us to walk and live in defeat; to be discouraged; to give-up
and become negative and defeated about life generally. Jesus
came to give us much more than that! He came to give us “Life,
and life more abundantly (“super-abundant, excessive, above the
ordinary measure”)” (John 10:10). Know that the life Jesus gives
us is so totally different ~ and far better ~ than any other kind of
life that can be found this side of eternity. Do not forget that.

Far too often we give in too quickly. If it does not work out exactly
right the first time, we often do not try again, thinking that it is not
God’s will for us, or that the devil is trying to deceive us, etc. Faith
is something that causes us to press onwards, upwards and out-
wards ~ to persevere and to press through until we see the required
result. I am reminded of what Elijah said to his servant in 1 Kings
18:43-46. Elijah had declared that “there is a sound of abundance
of rain” ~ but there was no evidence at all of any clouds or signs
of rain (after three-and-a-half years of no rain – James 5:17-18).
He sent his servant up a hill to look for the clouds. He returned
with a negative word ~ there was nothing to be seen. Elijah was
not to be put-off by that report and sent him again, even seven
times! Six times there was nothing to be seen. Maybe Elijah had
got it wrong? But no! On the seventh time the servant came back
with a report of a little cloud in the sky the size of a man’s hand.
That was all Elijah needed. He jumped into action and it was not
long before the sky was black with rain clouds and heavy rain
began to pour down. He prevailed!

We, too, need to have the word of the Lord in our hearts in such
a way that we know it is God. Often, when He speaks to us, there
is no physical or outward evidence that it is so. But faith comes
with the voice of the Lord, and when we choose to press on through
regardless of what our mind tells us, other people tell us, circum-
stances tell us, etc., we will find that we inherit the promises. They
will come to pass! Know also that God uses these “delays” to work
something precious into our spirits, so that we are prepared and
equipped for even greater things ahead. We have to be refined for
His purposes. It is easy to give up, but giving up does not
accomplish anything in God.

Naaman the Syrian was told by Elisha to go and wash seven times
in the Jordan River. It offended him and touched his pride, causing
him to “storm off” in indignation. But when he humbled himself and
did as the prophet declared, he was healed of his leprosy. I am
simple enough to believe that if he only dipped five or six times,
he would not have been healed (see 2 Kings 5:1-14). He had to
persevere in spite of his pride and arrogance. God used it to humble
the man and cause him to acknowledge that there is no god like
Elisha’s God.


We are exhorted to be like Jesus and to “lay aside every weight,
and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with
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 the Cross, despising the shame, and has
sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him
who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest
you become weary and discouraged in your souls” (Hebrews 12:1-3).

Christianity is a marathon race, not a sprint. It calls for endurance
(“to stay, stand fast, continue, abide; to remain behind after others
have gone; to keep one’s ground, hold out; a brave bearing up
against sufferings” – Bullinger’s); it is keeping focused and
keeping going in that which God has called us to. “And let us
not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap
if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9-10). If Jesus Himself needed
to endure, then so do we. Have we got our eyes focused on what
is ahead, or are we allowing present, natural, negative circumstances
to discourage us and make us give up?


What has God promised you that is yet unfulfilled in your life? Have
you given-up on it, thought it was too difficult, caused too much
criticism and opposition against you, etc.? What God promises,
He desires to deliver on. He wants to fulfil His sure promises in your
life. Be encouraged to pick up those promises again and to press
on until you see the victory. Know that He does not change His
mind about you. Do not allow negative thoughts, things, people,
circumstances, criticisms, opposition, persecutions, etc., rob you
of the blessings of a Super-Abundant God Who wants only the
very best for you. Press in and press through until the victory is
yours! It is so worth it and you will accomplish so much more as
you keep pressing through, enduring and not giving up on that
which God has promised YOU!



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