Strength to Persevere

“We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God…your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3).

Paul reminds us here it is hope that enables us to persevere. That is important to know! Here’s why: One of the strongest temptations Christians face is to give up and quit. Perhaps you have been struggling for a long time with a problem, and you are tired of keeping on. God’s Word tells us repeatedly that we must maintain hope, and that hope produces endurance.

Hope is a powerful force. Mitch Hurwitz tells the story about a New York City University concert, where a distinguished concert pianist suddenly became ill and could not continue. There was an old music teacher at the college nicknamed Herman who rose from the audience and walked on stage. Herman sat down at the piano and with great mastery completed the performance.

At a party after the concert, a faculty member asked Herman how he was able to play the difficult pieces from memory with such great skill. Herman said, “In 1939, when I was a budding young concert pianist, I was arrested and placed in a Nazi concentration camp. Putting it mildly, the future looked bleak. But I knew to keep the flicker of hope alive that I might someday play again, I needed to practice every day. I drew a keyboard on my bed board and began by fingering a piece from my repertoire late one night. The next night I added a second piece and soon I was running through my entire repertoire. I did this every night for five years. It so happens that the piece I played tonight at the concert hall was part of that repertoire. That constant practice is what kept my hope alive. Every day I renewed my hope that I would one day be able to play my music again on a real piano, and in freedom.”

It was his hope of performing again that gave him the ability to endure the harsh conditions of the concentration camp. Our blessed hope is that we will one day see Jesus face to face and we will share in His victory forevermore! Then we will know it was worth it all! No matter how tough life gets, this hope gives us strength to hold on—to persevere.

Devotedly yours,
Pastor Ron

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