Enduring

UnAfraid_Web QN: What’s one thing that you have been waiting for a long time but it still hasn’t come to pass? Very few of us enjoy long periods of waiting, especially when it’s for those things in life that we really need or deeply desire. In fact for many of us, that is one of the most discouraging components of being a Christ follower. Sometimes you know that the thing you’re asking God for is not a luxury; but rather is a critical necessity! And yet there’s still no indication when or even if it will finally come. What do you do when you’re in that unending wilderness where your dreams seem to be on hold and the message from heaven seems to be ‘network unavailable’? When we know and align with what God wants, we can overcome fear and do what others find impossible. Today we want to look at the 2nd quality of true courage.

READ 1SAM 26:1-12 (MSG)

This was not the first time that David had the opportunity to kill Saul. In chapter 24, Saul had been pursuing David when he decided to take a ‘long call’ in the same cave where David was hiding! When he realized that David had chosen not to kill him, Saul had called off his soldiers. But now he was back. I’m sure David was very discouraged to be in the same situation. “God we already been through this, what is the problem. Why is this thing back again?” Do you sometimes find yourself asking, “God, why am I here again? I thought I already prayed about this thing! I thought we were done with this!” It can be discouraging when you find yourself in the same place, facing a problem you thought you should have conquered by now! Praying the same prayers you’ve prayed so many times before.

I really don’t know what made David walk into the enemy camp! Maybe he was sick of running and wanted to surrender. Or maybe he was thinking, ‘God, I’m going in – you need to end this thing once and for all’. Maybe he didn’t even know exactly what he was going to do. But he asked Ahimelech and Abishai, “I’m going in – whose coming with me?” Abishai, quickly said, “ count me in!” Somehow, they made it through Saul’s army SEALS right to the command center of the camp undetected. And right there before them – deep asleep – was the cause of all their misery. If not for Saul, they would be sleeping in warm beds next to their wives. If not for Saul, David would be king. If not for Saul, they would not be on the run like Al Qaeda. But David refused to take advantage of the ‘opportunity’.

You need to understand that there are plenty of opportunities that are going to come your way, but not every opportunity is from God. Did you know the devil can also open up opportunities?2Corinthians 11:14 says that ‘Satan masquerades as an angel of light’. Think about the temptations of Jesus. The devil opened several opportunities for him – but what would have happened if he had taken advantage of them? He would have been sidetracked from his God-designed purpose! What we often fail to realize when we’re so discouraged by the wilderness of waiting, is that;

True courage is built by endurance.

This is a very hard lesson to understand especially when you’ve been desperately waiting for something! So often when we deeply desire something, we want to have it as soon as possible – that’s natural! And when we encounter resistance or pain, then we get discouraged and abandoned and want to give up. When the going gets tough, the tough get going! How often have I heard people ask ‘how could God abandon me at the time I needed Him the most?’ But it’s not always the best thing for us to get what we want when we want it! Sometimes, God actually just wants us to wait! And so from David’s story, let’s talk about… The Benefits Of Waiting – or why does God sometimes delay answering our prayers?

  1.  Build’s Faith – It’s one thing to learn to trust God when life is going your way. Miracles & answered prayers, provision & health, they certainly help us to trust God. But it’s a completely different thing to learn how to trust God in the middle of illness, pain, brokenness and unanswered prayers. David had encountered victory over bears, lions & giants. He knew the God of the mountaintop but he needed to know the God of the valleys – because our God is God in the good times but He’s also God in the tough times! I love that in his difficult times, David did not hide his questions, pain or anger from God.In his prayer journal, which is what later became the book of Psalms, he wrote in Ps.42:9 ‘sometimes I ask God, ‘why did you let me down? Why am I walking around in tears harassed by enemies?’ In 43:23-6 he says ‘Get up, God! Are you going to sleep all day? Wake up! Don’t you care what happens to us? … Why pretend things are just find with us? … Get up and come to our rescue. If you love us so much, help us!’ In the process of being real with God, David learnt to depend on God whether things were good or things were bad. He learnt to trust in God alone, to rely on the Giver and not on the gift. ‘If it happens, great! If not, I’ll still love you God!’ David became the ‘man after God’s heart’ and the greatest king of Israel because of his wilderness experience!
  2. It Creates Space For God – Even though David didn’t know it, this was the last time Saul would ever pursue him again. Before the next few months were over, he would die in a battle against the Philistines. David would then be crowned king, first over his people of Judah, but ultimately over all Israel. Even the Benjamites, Saul’s people, would cross over to him! But here’s the thing -it’s probable that if he had killed Saul that night, he would never have become Israel’s greatest king who ruled over a powerful and united nation. You see short cuts may ultimately cut you short from God’s purpose for you! By refusing to take shortcuts or to do things our way, we allow God to be God over our lives. We give Him the space to lead us.

True courage is built by endurance!

3. Shapes Purpose – The Philistines were Israel’s most formidable and persistent enemy. They had harassed them for over a century – ever since the time of Samson. And yet David was so harassed by Saul that he was forced to take shelter among them. In the process, he got to know them really well. Rather than sit around and complain about Saul, he even launched secret campaigns against Israel’s enemies from behind the Philistine lines. No wonder then that when David became king, he so completely crushed the Philistines that we almost never hear about them again! With God, none of our experiences are wasted! You know many times we want the glory without the story. But that story may be necessary for God to complete the masterpiece that He is making of our lives. Because

True courage is built by endurance!

There are many ways that we deal with persistent challenges. Some of us do everything we can to avoid them completely. Others of us get angry about our situation and either take matters in our own hands like Abishai or quit on God and faith altogether. The more spiritual ones of us simply shrug our shoulders and resign ourselves to the situation. ‘Surely it must be God’s will’, we reason.

 True courage is built by endurance!

So, how do I know which challenges to attack and which ones to endure? A big part of that answer has to do with alignment! David chose to believe that if God had anointed him king, then God was able to make him king without him compromising his faith. Even if that meant he’d have to remain a fugitive in the wilderness!

Remember, any opportunity that requires you to compromise your relationship with God is not a God-opportunity!’ Will this opportunity keep you to busy to worship? Will you be sacrificing your family because you have no time or energy left over for them? Will you be selling a little piece of your soul because of some compromise you have to make? Many Christians have sacrificed their faith and purpose at the altar of  ‘I might not get this opportunity again.’ You see there is often a difference between what is convenient and what is best.

True courage is built by endurance!

Courage may mean fighting for that marriage even though you feel betrayed and everything in you tells you you’d be so much happier elsewhere! Courage may mean refusing to pay bribes, even though it means you might not win any tenders. Courage may mean choosing to stay sexually pure, even though you have no guarantees of when or even if Mr Right will finally show up.

Courage may mean rather than avoiding the pain, you lean into it, expressing your pain to God, asking Him to guide you through it, and trusting, somehow, that ‘in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose’.

True courage is built by endurance!

Follow us on Twitter & Facebook. We stream the sermon LIVE every Sunday 9AM GMT+3 here, bookmark and tune in. Sermon videos are usually uploaded to our YouTube channel

Advertisements

15 Responses to “Enduring”

  1. Katherine Says:

    This sermon was wonderful. It was God talking directly to me. I gave up on my dreams, waiting is hard. Disappointments and frustration galore. Guess it takes one step at a time to get faith back but it’s harder to trust again knowing the pain one is up for if it does not happen.

    Like

  2. Pastor M. This sermon truly reflects a journey I’ve been on for two years. I’m a doctor by profession.,working in Nairobi.I’ve been waiting and planning to get back to School to specialize.I have taken the pre -entrance exam twice (yes even after years of learning to get my medicine degree..I still have to prove myself to get back to school)
    I didn’t make it on my first try in 2011 .Worse still didn’t make it on my second try in June of 2012. I felt like a failure. I had planned and waited. Work was difficult last year and school was my chance to take a break from it.Alas! that didn’t happen.I had to stay on at my place of work that had become unbearable( Woi manager woes! Hr woes, strikes, fired and rehired after a month, tension….I think you get it!)School was my exit work strategy.I was devastated and angry with God, disappointed in myself. Doctors are supposed to be intelligent. How did I fail this exam? I have never been daft! Never ever!
    Four months later a door opened.I moved from one department to another. From outpatient care to Critical Care.Guess what? Its been the best 8 months of my life. I have learnt so many new skills..(Its the full ER picture at work.I literally put tubes down patients throats and connect them to machines to help them breathe).Its been eight months of learning and homing my diagnostic skills i.e using my eyes ears hands and brain to tie things together.My seniors have been patient and understanding and willing to teach.My colleagues who managed to pass the entry exams tell me that they don’t have the skills I have acquired here.At the end of the day,God opened up a door to enable me to learn skills skills that I believe will come in handy . He moved me from a miserable job to one that brings me joy. I learn something new every other day.I can truly say that I’m a better doctor now as compared to eight months ago.
    Indeed all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called to his purpose.
    ” For I know the plans I have for you declares The Lord”.There is no wasting in waiting, there is growing and learning!
    I am humbled.Looking forward to what lays ahead.

    Dr.M.N.T

    Like

  3. Girl in waiting Says:

    Pastor M. This sermon to me is not only so timely but also a confirmation that waiting is indeed Godly. As i read the sermon it brought out to me so clearly space i am in. I can confess that in waiting i have become inconsistent and i keep seeing so many opportunities that look like better options but after this sermon i am viewing my waiting as an opportunity for God to put into me the disciplines i require for the big calling. Thank you so much and God Bless you.

    Like

  4. Pst M, your illustration of the scripture using the Mission Impossible catch-tune was quite impactful. I really laughed during that dramatization and equally sobbed towards the end of the sermon. How ungrateful we are at times; complaining complaining, complaining. The message did sink in. That was refreshing, challenging, inspiring, encouraging, all at once. I absolutely loved “The Message” version of the bible and I have switched to it on my online bible reading plan. Talk about revelation …

    Bless you and looking forward to next week’s sermon.

    Like

  5. As I listened to Pastor M on Sunday I started asking myself who has been giving him ‘udaku’ about me. I was happy I was sitting at the back so there was no chance he could look me in the eye. I have had financial problems for over five years and I am the definition of hustling. After not getting a job for years I started doing business to make ends meet from selling second had clothes, to making and selling paintings, making and selling scented candles….I’m not bragging but doesn’t that make you wonder “she sounds talented so what’s wrong with her?’ I asked God that so many times and like so many who loose their way, I quit on my vision and took the first job that came my way this year. All I could think of were the debts my business and I had accrued over the years so I compromised on my Christian faith and took a job that is in all sense of the word ‘illegal’. More to that, my job entails enabling lazy people to pass exams and qualify for professional roles thus consequently adding to the number of unqualified nurses, accountants, and teachers, etc in the world. Of course my employer did not disclose this fact when he advertised for the job online and in fact he threw in several legitimate jobs just to test the waters but as soon as I realized what I was doing I should have stopped but I didn’t. I’d like to say I stayed because my father who is a church minister told me I could hang in there as I looked for a job elsewhere. I’d also like to say I stayed because when I talked to my LG about it, everyone went quite. I have many excuses for staying but the truth is, I gave up on God, I compromised my faith and integrity, and I have no one to blame but myself. I can only pray that God forgives me and restores me. Today I quit my job; I took a step of faith. I’m sick to my stomach because I still have bills, debts and a husband who is not born again to explain to what I was thinking quitting my job because that is what God expects of me? That as a believer I should not compromise my faith and integrity? Waaah life is hard….I know deep in my heart I’ve done the right thing but truth be told, I’m scared that I will fall back into financial paralysis hoping and waiting for God to give me a job or breath life into my business.

    Like

    • Habakkuk 3:19 Says:

      Susan all I can say that is not a step of faith that’s a BOLD STEP OF FAITH. May be with you dear.

      Like

  6. Habakkuk 3:19 Says:

    The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!

    Like

  7. True courage is built through endurance of the challenges and difficult times we face. As I reflected on this I realised that sometimes the reason that we have to endure is God has chosen to keep us in the circumstances for our good.
    Last Friday I took my son to hospital and the doctor prescribed nebulization. It was tough for my son having a mask over his mouth and nose. He fought it with all he had and I held him fast. He cried his lungs out until, in exhaustion, he slept. I remember the nurse say the crying was good because, that way, he was fully inhaling the medication. I have noted that my son is somewhat now hesitant about what I will do and would rather be with mum. I am need to ensure him that he knows my heart and that I love him. So I must make every effort to engage with him so that he can feel loved, know that he is loved.
    What God did was show me this is how it is sometimes is between Him and I. I need to be nebulized to cleanse me from sin, a pattern of thinking or simply prepare me for my next challenge. But I scream, I fight until in exhaustion I rest in His arms inhaling in peace that which is good for me. This is endurance and I need to rest in Him. After such experiences I often want to stand some distance from God not sure of what next and if I can really trust Him. To trust him I must know his heart which requires time together. Because unlike me He is always available I must make time to connect with Him through His Word and prayer.
    I pray that as you endure you will know as I continually do you can trust God’s heart

    Like

  8. I am living testimony of this and if you will please allow me to share, I pray it may encourage someone…

    Two years ago, I experienced my very own ‘thorn in the flesh’. I went through the breakups of breakups…yani, It was possibly the hardest, the most painful, hurtful experience I have ever had to go through in my life and I felt I did not deserve it. I did not/could not understand – I was angry, confused, broken and lost. Yet, in this I knew in my heart, He had done it…and I wanted to know – why!! And so I knew I needed to draw closer to Him…He had ‘life’s’ answer for me…I just had to trust Him.

    I surrendered into my pain, my desert, my wilderness. And it was hard. On my goodness it was hard! The heart went up and down…without warning…it was pain – hell actually – yet I knew I had to remain in Him. In that time, He had promised me work and my phd…He had already placed these desires in my heart and without even applying work came. Work, that was through divine connection – where you see a young girl like me, training the National Assembly of Kenya – it was divine promotion and I knew it…I knew I was aligned with the calling in my heart. But, i ‘tammad’ my phd – as a way to also escape the everyday of pain…and so I begun to apply as something to look forward to and keep me going. I knew in my heart, that the desires placed in my heart were not mine – but a part of His bigger purpose. I didn’t understand it, but I knew that through ‘my thorne’ the Lord had changed the course of my life and that He was moving me into His best, I just had to let go my ‘way’.

    In that time, I found comfort in the Lord. I immersed myself in hearing His word. One of the key sermons that has remained with me, is the ‘God Factor’ series…and one very key song you sang in it ‘in his time, in His time, He makes all things beautiful in His time…Lord please show me everyday as you do it your way, that you do just as you say, in Your time’! WOW I had never heard that song but it struck my spirit – you then gave the analogy of the butterfly in a cocoon…and suddenly I understood…im in a process of formation.

    This did not make easier – but I had hope – and that hope, kept me going. Hope that I could trust Him and that He would not let shame and disgrace stay…my tears will turn into a harvest of joy.

    Fast forward two years – literally this month…His promises are bearing fruit and my dreams are coming true. Even though I applied for my phd and got it I was never able to go due to funding. But now, because in HIS time, not mine He gives me His best…not only has the Lord opened up a phd in one of the top schools in the world LSE, but He has fully paid for it for me via a prestigious scholarship award. An option that I had never dreamt of. Yet, He did it!

    I feel fully aligned within His purpose and I know and believe, He needed to bring me back into His plan so that He could propel me into the greatness of His design.

    I am humbled, bowled over, floored by His goodness.

    It was a long, hard, journey of waiting…learning to trust, to depend, to accept and most importantly to obey…and in the end, when you see His promises manifest – not because of who you are, but because of who He is…you will know that it is true when He says ‘all things work together for good’

    The blessing is in the wait! Hold strong – His grace is sufficient 😉

    Like

    • You have no idea how this has inspired me. Jobless with a masters degree and hoping to enrol in a PHD too sometime in the future. I feel that God is preparing me for good things to come. This period of waiting has been a real test of faith but im glad that im learning to have Him have his way in my life. My faith and relationship with Him is now stronger.I hope that in the future i can have a testimony like your 🙂 All the best!!!

      Like

  9. Hey Pastor M,once again God spoke through you loud and clear,true courage is built by endurance.Been though alot still going thru alot.Ave developed a tough skin but more of resigning to fate rather than resilience.The video at the end really hit home for me.I have alot to be thankful for.How often we forget the blessings that God has brought our way and wallow in hopelessness of the more we want.Cant say am healed but am sure looking forward to rest and know for sure ave grown in many ways because of the challenges ,until God reveals to me whats on the other side,I’ll remain faithfully waiting on him.
    ‘God grant me the serenity
    To accept the things I cannot change;
    Courage to change the things I can;
    And wisdom to know the difference’
    B blessed Pastor M.

    Like

    • God knows what he’s doing for each of us. He is the potter, and we are His clay. He will mould us and expose us to pressures of just the right kinds that we may be made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill His good, pleasing and perfect will. So, when life seems hard, and you are being pounded and patted and pushed almost beyond endurance; when your world seems to be spinning out of control; when you feel like you are in a fiery furnace of trials, just know that at the end of it all, your life is set to be transformed into something beautiful that you never imagined. If we could just learn to trust and obey Him ….

      Like

  10. Now i know for sure God speaks to His people.So its on a Saturday evening, I’m headed home from work and I’m really feeling discouraged about an issue I’ve been praying for many years now but heavens have remained quiet on me. So I start talking to God about the issue but this time I’m not praying the usual prayers instead am giving Him an ultimatum after which, its going to be my way. Then comes Sunday morning and what does Pst.M tells me? Wait!!..Yes God i heard you and am waiting.

    Like

  11. This sermon is what we need as Gods children for us to be in a position to be heirs of his kingdom here in earth and also in heaven.Glory to God Pastor M for this sermon

    Like

  12. i am lost,i am not born again,i have been jobless since i graduated in 2007,i have a daughter who i cannot feed and my marriage broke in may..i keep taking money from my sis which i have no permission to take and i am at a point where i am paralyzed by fear..sometimes i feel like i have no room in this world and should just exit… i am tired of feeling like a failure

    Like

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: