(see links to this multipart series at end of article)
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus (Rev. 14:12)
Luke 21:19 speaks of this “patience” saying, In your patience possess ye your souls. Other translations communicate it like this: By your steadfastness and patient endurance you shall win the true life of your souls (AMP). By your endurance you will win your souls (Barclay’s Daily Study Bible).
I was always puzzled by these words until God began showing me the message and purpose of brokenness. I understand that it takes faith in something to endure through something. The Greek word for patience is hypomonē and can also be interpreted as endurance. It is very similar to the word perseverance. In a 2009 devotional I spoke of the slight difference between patience and perseverance. Patience is waiting with contentment (some can wait but not be content), while perseverance is fighting the battle while you’re waiting with contentment. Perseverance in the faith is a main theme throughout the New Testament for the Body of Christ to follow until the return of Christ; a theme that is not talked about enough. With the pressure of the end-times bearing down on us, we need to understand the message of biblical brokenness and how to receive the grace to persevere. The hardships we endure in life have a way of applying a lot of pressure on us, – to the point of breaking us.
I think we all would agree America needs to cry before the Lord for His mercy. Consider this thought; the Tea Party members are fighting for a good cause, but what will be the result if they could have their complete way? We could have a restored Republic with its many freedoms and prosperity; however, most would just go back to cooking on their grills, boating, vacationing, partying, and enjoying life as usual. The only problem is the main problem would still exist – America leaving (or rather kicking) God out of the picture. For the most part, we live in a godless society. God is not going to just sit back and let us drift off to self-destruction. God is preparing a Bride! Because of His love for us, He is going to intervene and break His children of the worldly culture, to which we have become so adapted. James 1:27 says; “Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune and to keep oneself unstained [unspotted] from the world.” We are to live in and influence the humanistic, godless culture around us without being stained by it; and do this with an imperfect, sin-loving, core nature. I know it is an up-hill battle, but we’re not alone! The Grace of God is in the message of brokenness more than we realize! Grace is God’s enabling power for us, first to desire to do His will and second, the power to carry out His will. “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him” (Phil.2:13 NLT). Grace is His enabling power in us to be what we’re called to be and to do what we’re called to do. We’re called to have the love of God and the endurance of Christ 2Thess.3:5 (endurance = doing the will of God while waiting for Christ).
One of the ways we cleanse ourselves from this world is by literally crying before the Lord which many times are due to the sufferings we experience. Have you ever felt better and cleaner after a good cry? James 4:8 says, Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. This is something we don’t hear preached and has become a lost art. When is the last time you cried before the Lord?
We cry in brokenness when we truly recognize how bankrupt we are without God; Blessed are the poor in spirit (Matt. 5:3). If we allow the brokenness, God promises to mend us back together the right way. We are NEVER left broken! Scripture assures us that God comforts and heals us from brokenness in verses like; Psalms 31:12; 51:17; Isaiah 57:15; 61:1 and Palms 34:18 He is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
The sin of Adam’s failure was in essence declaring independence from God. Man has done so ever since. This sinful independence has become a part of our DNA. Only through pressure, sufferings and discipline can this independence be skimmed off. There is no other way! We can, to a small degree surrender and die to self and submit to the Lordship of Christ, but we do not know the depth of wickedness that lies deep within our own hearts (Jer. 17:9).
My friend and late founder of Pine Crest Bible Institute and author Wade Taylor writes in one of his daily devotionals found at www.WadeTaylor.org
“A spirited horse has to be broken before it can be ridden. This is done, not because the horse has done something wrong but so it can become productive. Likewise, scourging has to do with our becoming a yielded vessel in the hand of the Lord. – John W. Follette once said that there are few who minister out of a broken spirit. This is because there are few who are willing to go through the process of being reduced through scourging [or suffering(s)]. We may feel that we do not deserve the problems we find in our pathway, and this is true. But they are there because the Lord is seeking to make us far more useful to Him in the outworking of His purposes. Only then can the Lord trust us with His glory, and the end-time authority which is about to be released.”
When we submit to the discipline (scourging) of the Holy Spirit, we willingly give Him permission to take us into the wilderness to address those impurities that keep us from walking in more of His fullness. We wonder why we don’t see more healings, and we want to see more miracles and more of the power of God at work. The reason we don’t is because there are few who are willing to be reduced through sufferings. Few are willing to pay the price in journeying through the furnace of affliction and trade off our impurities for His Grace and Power. Far too many believers jump off God’s operation table before the Holy Ghost can complete this work. It can be painful and humiliating to be reduced – to come to a place of “no reputation” – becoming empty of self, Phil. 2:7. In our sin-fallen culture we have a perverted perception of what success is. Many believe that in increasing in money and monetary things is real success. However, we are living in the last days and the Bible teaches in John 15:2, that healthy growth comes by pruning; which is being cut back and reduced. Remember what is being reduced/stripped away. It is the extra baggage if you will; the sin natured stuff that keeps us from coming into the presence of God.
My dad owns a welding shop with lots of steel stock we had to cut. Working with this steel as a young boy, I got a steel splinter in my hand. My mother had to dig out the sliver of steel. It was too deep to get to with tweezers. She had to cut and dig into my skin to get to the splinter. It hurt and she knew it hurt, but she loved me enough to do what was necessary to make sure the foreign object was cut out before infection set in. This is a natural illustration of what our heavenly Father does at times in our spiritual lives. Our Father knows our sin nature will infect us and take us to a devil’s hell. Father loves us enough to intervene and do what is necessary to deliver us from our ailment. This means we will experience loss. Our sufferings and/or discipline could be the loss of bad attitudes, prestige positions, money, material possessions, etc. Our pride will cause us to experience something seemingly negative to humble us. What we see as “negative,” God may see as a “positive.” A fall is humiliating to our sin nature; but to our spirit-man it is the sting of our loving heavenly Father pulling the splinter out; and that’s the way we need to renew our mind to see it. The fallen nature is the part of us that we must take to the cross to crucify again and again until it is dead. God could have also saved me from getting the splinter but instead He allows things to happen in order for us to recognize our true condition and need for Him. The Sovereignty of God uses situations and circumstances in our lives for His higher purposes.
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. … My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance [patience] of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord – that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful (James 5:7-11).
Job is the prime example of the purpose in brokenness. Job endured in the faith no matter what! After losing virtually everything he had, he kept God front and center of his focus knowing that someday it would pay off; if not in this life, then in the Hereafter – it didn’t matter to Job. To add salt to injury, his friends insisted that he must have sinned badly and were under judgment to be experiencing all this suffering. I had a very similar experience when I was going through an extremely painful and difficult time in my life. I was being attacked from multiple sides and experienced tremendous loss. I had to live with another family for a time. The man of that house, – my Christian friend – began hurling accusations at me saying that I must have sinned and was under judgment. This “friend” appeared to have the model Christian family but in reality is following only one individual who is a homosexual. My friend also demanded I believe this individual to be one of the two witnesses (prophets) of Rev. 11:3 or I would continue to be under judgment. Needless to say, I was getting out from under that, even if I had to live in a pup-tent. Thankfully, I seek to surround myself with mature men of God. One such man at the time was teaching me the admiral quality of learning to suffer quietly. What an opportunity I had to strap myself down on Gods operation table, allowing His Grace to work and His character to develop.
The importance of the patience of Job is the end result! Job did not move by the arm of the flesh and settle for the next best thing that came along. Job waited for what God brought his way, and God was waiting for Job to see the bigger reality! Job did not jump off God’s operation table and curse Him when it became extremely painful. Today, the importance of the patience of the Saints is the end result! We will win our souls! Job was rewarded by the restoration of all he had lost, and more. We too, can walk into the blessings of God on earth and into His fullness and all the glories of heaven! We will win the rewards of faithfulness when we endure through the painful, difficult days of an anti-Christ world system of the end times. Our opening verse, Luke 21:19 isn’t salvation by works, rather its Jesus basically saying, “you have been refined as sliver. Because of your faith and trust in Me, you endured the fiery trials, allowing these to work out impurities such as doubt and unbelief. You allowed My grace to work in you, and it tested you and purified you so you can come into my direct, un-veiled presence.”
The process of brokenness involves the loss of something within or about us. The spiritual and the physical realms parallel each other is a biblical principal. If there is something God wants to cut away within us and we are stubborn and unwilling to lose it, or there are material things around us preventing and distracting us from a closer relationship with Father, rest assured that our jealous God will put His finger on it. That’s the love of God in action, and His grace is available for us to have the patience of the Saints through anything unto the very end!
May The Lord strengthen your hearts and fill you with His Amazing Enabling Power – His Grace!
- Why Being a Christian Can Be Difficult? A Study in the Purpose of Brokenness Part I
- Understanding Suffering. A Study in the Purpose of Brokenness Part II
- The Patience of the Saints A Study in the Purpose of Brokenness Part III
- The Avoided Doorway to the Glory of God A Study in the Purpose of Brokenness Part IV
The mission of the “Creation Under Fire project” is to educate people with the truth of our origin as revealed in the first book of the Holy Bible – Genesis. To establish a clear understanding of the original thought and intent of the author as it was originally recorded; therewith, dispelling untrue theories of creation within the church. In turn, strengthening people’s faith and equipping them with real answers for the faith they possess and to defend it well. Also to expose the most subtle scheme Satan has ever unleashed on humanity, which has sent more people to hell than any other attack mankind has ever known. Refranzen1@live.com www.CreationUnderFire.com