Welcome to Take Ten at Ten with Pastor Tony! Today we're halfway through 2020 and we'll hear how God's faithfulness enables us to persevere.
Watch Pastor Tony's Devotional
God's Love Outlasts Temporary Affliction
Psalm 129:1-8 is a Psalm of Ascents that was sung as the Israelites made their pilgrimage to Jerusalem to worship God. The theme of this Psalm is perseverance: how to take courage during difficult circumstances.
"Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me" (Psalm 129:2).
The Israelites felt the pain of affliction, persecution, uncertainty, and ridicule. Many of us are also feeling pain from the pandemic, racial injustice, or tension in another area. 2020 has been a difficult year! Perhaps you've seen the meme: If 2020 were a piñata...
In spite of an uncertain future, we can persevere because we know our temporary afflictions cannot outlast God. Psalm 129:4 says he has cut the cords of the wicked. Evil will not prevail.
Imagine that we're running a race and we're at the halfway point. We don't know what terrain or obstacles lie ahead. Yet, Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us that Jesus has already run the race and is waiting for us at the finish line. He persevered and outlasted the pain of persecution, affliction, and oppression. And now he is seated at the right hand of God. Jesus' life proves that suffering, pain, and uncertainty can't outlast the love of God. Now Jesus, our Great High Priest, is praying for us - cheering us on - in the presence of God.
Eugene Peterson wrote that perseverance does not rely on my determination. Perseverance is tied to God's faithfulness.
Berean faith family: finish strong, persevere, and count it all joy when you face trials of any kind.
For biblical encouragement on how to face trials and temptation, listen to the recent sermon, Balance: The Spiral of Temptation.