The Power of Perseverance ~ blog
There is one story in the book of Acts that I absolutely love. It is an illustration of the perseverance of Paul and his companions. They were visiting a town named Lystra which was located in modern-day Turkey.
While in Lystra Paul came upon a man who was sitting down because he had no strength in his feet. He was born lame and had never walked in his life. Paul happened to be preaching near the lame man and as Paul was preaching their eyes fixed on one another and we read that Paul saw that the man had faith to be healed. Paul said in a loud voice;
“Stand upright on your feet.”
And it says that the man leaped up and began to walk. When the crowd saw this, they jumped to the wrong conclusion. They said;
“‘The gods have become like men and have come down to us.’ And they began calling Barnabas, Zeus, and Paul, Hermes because he was the chief speaker.”
Zeus was the god of the sky, lightning, and thunder. Hermes a god who was the herald and messenger of Mt. Olympus and symbolized one who crossed the boundaries between two realms of the gods and humanity. Then the priest of Zeus went and oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifices to Paul and Barnabas.
Things were getting out of hand quickly because it was a big deal to have Zeus and Hermes in town. Everyone was getting tremendously excited until Paul and Barny ripped their clothes, a sign of disgust, and said to the crowd to STOP!!! Because Paul and Barny were just men like the rest of them and were there to preach the gospel.
Soon after this a posse of Jews who had been following Paul, to disrupt his ministry, showed up and turned the crowd against them. The people were now angry and picked up stones and stoned Paul. Once they believed he was dead they dragged away his body out of the city supposing he was dead.
However, as his disciples were standing around his body outside of the city, Paul got up. Now either he was not dead … or he was dead, and God brought him back to life. Perhaps this was the time Paul refers to when he says he was taken up into heaven. Regardless as far as the town knew he was dead.
Once Paul gets up, he does something nobody would have expected … he walks back into town. We are not told what he did but the people who had stoned him were sure to be freaking out. The next day Paul and Barny leave town to go to Derbe.
The reason I love this story is because it shows Paul’s perseverance. He goes back into the city where he had just been stoned and waits until the next day to leave town.
If there is one thing I know we all need in order to walk away from our sexual brokenness it is perseverance. Perseverance is the ability to keep going in spite of hardship or failures. Recovery from sexual brokenness is not suddenly reaching perfection. It is making progress and making progress in this area with porn being omnipresent is very difficult. The most important thing is that we do not quit because it is difficult.
Here are some examples of perseverance.
Henry Ford – Ford innovated industrial production with the assembly line. However, before founding the extremely successful Ford Motor Company he was previously bankrupted and left penniless 5 times from failed ventures.
Walt Disney- Walt Disney has entertained children all over the world for nearly a century and created a billion-dollar merchandising empire. Mr. Disney was fired from his first job at the Kansas City Star because ‘he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” In an ironic turn of events years later the Walt Disney Company acquired the Kansas City Star with the purchase of parent company ABC.
Albert Einstein- Although the name Einstein is now almost exclusively associated with genius, young Albert was not viewed as much of a prospective scholar. His parents and teachers began to think he was mentally handicapped and socially awkward due to that fact he did not begin to speak until the age of 4 or read until he was 7. Einstein was eventually expelled from school and denied entry to Zurich
Steven Spielberg- After high school, Steven Spielberg was rejected three times from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film, and Television. After attending California State University, Long Beach he subsequently dropped out and pursued directing without a degree.
The bad news is we are going to be in this battle as long as we have our sinful nature inside of us, live in a fallen world, and go battle with demonic forces.
The Great News is that we have the Spirit of God living inside of us to help us and God has given us community with others so that we can get the help we need.
I offer you this help through our Online Support Teams. There are 12 of them using live streaming online. If you want to know more or visit an OST meeting email me and I will show you the schedule so that you can pick one and sit in as a visitor.