Tenacity

“Hanging in there” is more than just a handy report in times of stress; it is a life skill. As this new day begins, each of us is making the attempt to “hang in there.”

The power to hang in there is deep within us.

Sometimes it gets covered up by layers of discouragement or disillusionment, fear or fatalism, but as we discard those things in prayer and confession of scripture, the power beings to flow unhindered from our inner depths to our outer disciplines. That power of the Spirit is resident in us because Jesus lives in our hearts and the Father surrounds and permeates us with grace.

Heroes of the Faith
The heroes of the faith possessed tenacity—the ability to hang in there day by day.

  • Noah used gopher wood and tenacity to build the boat that saved the world.
  • Abraham built altar after altar and made daily sacrifices, hanging on to his faith in God in spite of conventional wisdom’s prognosis. In time he held Isaac, the incarnation of God’s promise, and Sarah’s laughter was justified. Abraham even held on when God commanded another altar and his son as the sacrifice. It took an angel’s hand and a ram caught in a thicket to stop the tenacious man of God from obeying the Lord’s command.
  • Moses tenaciously unlearned the leadership techniques of Egypt and learned how to be a shepherd, a forty year plan of study, so he could lead the flock of God.
  • Jesus did carpenter’s work for most of His life waiting for the time to come for him to “set his face” toward His Father’s altar in Jerusalem all the while knowing there would be no rescuing angel and that He was the inevitable and final Lamb.

Jesus encouraged us to be continually faithful in so many ways:

  • “Love me and keep my commandments.”
  • “Build your house upon the rock.”
  • “Pray in the secret place and the Father will reward you openly.”
  • “Ask and keep on asking.”
  • “You are my friends if you do what I command.”
  • “Take up your cross daily.”

His Cross; My Cross
The cross was the Father’s will for Jesus. He carried it every day, not just on the road to Calvary. The every-day nature of the Christian life is crucial to each of us. For most of us, our daily cross is not an instrument of torture and death, but a structure for life—the will of God for us—the reason we were created and called out of darkness. Never does a day dawn for us to forego our cross and let it lie in the back of our minds.

In the daily, personal will of God for each of us dwells these powerful things:

  • the light we need,
  • the strength the day will demand,
  • the wisdom the tasks ahead of us will require, and
  • the seeds of the harvest that we must sow today.

Tenacity Exercises

  1. Take a deep breath of the Spirit’s oxygen in praise.
  2. Stretch your sleeping muscles with adoration.
  3. Massage your mind and heart with truth.
  4. Bend down in prayer and take up your cross.

Be thankful that Jesus carried His cross of pain so yours can be a burden of joy and service.

Scriptures:
Isaiah 50:7
KJV
For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.
Luke 9:51-52 NKJV
Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face.
Matthew 16:24-26
…”If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.
Galatians 6:9 AMP
And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank You for the gift of tenacity. Thanks also for the amazing example You set for us in Your life among us. As I begin another day of work, I know that You will be with me, strengthening me, encouraging me, and empowering me. Thank You for meeting me here in this place of morning prayer. You deserve my complete attention, my whole heart and mind. I remind You of the covenant You have made with me—You will be God and I will be Your partner. I will give You my life and You will give me Yours. I will live in You and You will live in me. From such a position of strength, I will hang in there! Thank You, Jesus! Amen.

Song:
Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand

Words and Music: Jennie B. Wilson

1. Time is filled with swift transition, Naught of earth unmoved can stand,
Build your hopes on things eternal, Hold to God’s unchanging hand.

Refrain:
Hold to God’s unchanging hand, Hold to God’s unchanging hand;
Build your hopes on things eternal, Hold to God’s unchanging hand.

Refrain

2. Trust in Him who will not leave you, Whatsoever years may bring,
If by earthly friends forsaken Still more closely to Him cling.

Refrain
3. Covet not this world’s vain riches That so rapidly decay,
Seek to gain the heav’nly treasures,They will never pass away.

Refrain

4. When your journey is completed, If to God you have been true,
Fair and bright the home in glory Your enraptured soul will view.
Refrain

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

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