NEW YEAR, NEW MERCIES (Day 12)

 God calls you to persevere by faith, and then, with powerful grace, He protects and keeps you.

It is a wonderfully encouraging name for the God you serve, yet it’s possible to let it pass through your eyes and into your brain without stopping to celebrate its glory. In Romans 15:5, Paul calls your Lord “the God of endurance.” This title really gets at the center of where your hope is to be found. Let me state it plainly: your hope is not to be found in your willingness and ability to endure, but in God’s unshakable, enduring commitment to never turn from His work of grace. Your hope is that you have been welcomed into communion with One who will endure no matter what. 

Why is this so important to understand? Because your endurance will be spotty at best. There will be moments when you will forget who you are and live as a grace amnesiac. There will be times when you will get discouraged and for a while quit doing the good things God calls you to do. There will be moments, big and small, when you will willingly rebel. You may be thinking, “Not me.” But think with me— when you, as a Christian, say something nasty to another person, you don’t do it because you’re ignorant that it is wrong, but because at that point you don’t give a rip about what is wrong.

You see, perfect endurance demands just that, perfection, and since none of us is there yet, we must look outside ourselves for hope. Your hope of enduring is not to be found in your character or strength, but in your Lord’s. Because He will ever be faithful, you can bank on the fact that He will give you what you need to be faithful too. Your perseverance rests on Him, and He defines what endurance looks like! It is the grace of endurance granted to you by the God of endurance that provides you with everything you need to continue to be what He calls you to be and do what He calls you to do between this moment and the moment when you cross over to the other side. When difficulty exposes the weakness of your resolve and the limits of your strength, you do not have to panic, because He will endure even in those moments when you don’t feel able to do so yourself. 

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