Saturday, July 6, 2019
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

“But when you are arrested and stand trial, don’t worry in advance about what to say. Just say what God tells you at that time, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit. 12 “A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. 13 And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Mk:13:11-13

ut when you are arrested! Not if when. When you are provoked. When you are molested, hated, betrayed etc, Jesus says endure to the end. Shall we check the meaning of endurance?

The fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way. Synonyms include toleration, bearing, tolerance, sufferance, fortitude, forbearance, patience, acceptance, resignation and stoicism.

What the Holy Spirit is saying today is accept reality of challenges within relations, parents and children, spouses, colleagues, even in churches. There will be betrayals and persecution and similar things that will want to pressurize you to give up. So the challenge is how do we handle pressures? How do we endure and not cave in.

1. Go to your Gethsemane. That is a place of prayer where people you want to pray with you will sleep off. That is a place you have to say God not my will but your will. You may not kneel down. You may not even voice a word, you may just lie on your bed but in your heart go to Gethsemane and cry to God at a point angels will show up to strengthen you. They may be invisible or visible angels but God will send help to you.

2. Discuss the issue troubling you with the right/ wise/people . Find a listening ear to pour your heart. Not just anybody but someone who has passed through the situation you are experiencing or is passing through it. When you are experiencing ante- natal pains, don’t go and meet your ‘anointed’ male pastor no matter how highly anointed he has no grace in that area he has never been pregnant- go to his wife if she has been pregnant before . Mary went to Elizabeth when she found herself in that situation. When Lazarus was sick Mary and Matha sent message to Jesus. “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed” Prov 13:20.

3. Realize God is with you . “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10. One day I listened to Rev Charles Stanley preach on this subject on the radio. It was a rhema word for me that day. He said your wife, your parents, your friends can leave you but God will never leave you. I was saying amen to it. As I pulled up my car. My phone rang. One member of the church said sir, “don’t be offended what I want to say- but I need you to know I don’t want to fellowship with our Church again” God has prepared me for that moment . In your ministry people will leave and go. Jesus says “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up” Psalm 27:10. No matter what is causing you pain , realize that the Almighty God is with you as a comforter.

4. Put your faith into gear. Tell yourself this too will pass away . This situation will not consume me. Sola Rotimi the gospel artist says - “emi yo o bori isoro- bo ti wu ko le to o’nse omo oloku be ni ao ni sin pelu oku re, emi yio bori isoro dandan” meaning: “I shall overcome my troubles no matter how perplexing, no relative is buried with the corpse. They always demonstrate the pain as if they will enter the grave they do not!” So put your faith into gear. “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” Eph 6:13

5. Mitigate the challenges . There is always something you can do to mitigate the problem to keep you afloat . When Joseph was in prison he started interpreting dreams until he interpreted for the butler who eventually, after some delay, connected him to pharaoh who made him a Prime Minister. In Gen 26; Isaac continued to dig new wells and unplugged the old ones the Philistines were filling up.

6. Develop your human capacity . On the other hand; may be your finances look down and you are in debt. See financial planners. Maybe your family income is low. Think of another job with higher pay, start a business, change your approach to things, change your personality profile. Until recently when I went to Tyndale University to do a leadership development course, I did not realize that my decision making process was based on emotion and feelings which was affecting my outcomes and causing pain to me and my family. Pursue personal development. Paul says “that I may know God”. Develop your spiritual life to handle adversities, since it certainly shall come. Believe and work in integrity and excellent spirit.

7. Respond, rather than react to issues. When people dislike you find out why. When people are criticizing you don’t jot brush away their argument. For sure some people will just not like your “face” but some may dislike you because of one inappropriate attitude you are exhibiting which you may not know. Find out and see how you can handle it. If you are talkative, don’t say that is the way you were born, or the trait is in your lineage, learn to deal with that spirit. If yours is anger - read Proverb 15:1 “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” When you react to a situation you escalate it, when you respond you bring healing.

8. Always praise God. Always know that your situation is still better than that of someone else. The story was told of a town where all the people were always complaining. One day the king requested that all the people should come with their problems because he had a solution for all! On arrival he told them to write their problems on a sheet of paper and drop it. Then he told each one to go around and pick any problem he could better endure since all of them had one! By the time Jerry knew what Barry was carrying he was dumbfounded. At the end of the day each one preferred to return home with his or her own problem. Paul puts it this way “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you “

Conclusion. A little endurance will save your marriage . A little endurance will avoid that conflict . A little endurance will help you to secure that certificate/diploma or degree. A little endurance will get you to your business or life El Dorado. If you really want to overcome, not just endure, you need to change your status quo. Discover and pursue a life that brings progress and positive changes to your world. Don’t follow the route of negative, pessimistic, grouchy, depressed people who always escalate issues for no reason. Resolve to enjoy your life and not endure it. Happy day.