Persevering Faith (Genesis 49:22-26)
We’re coming to the end of our message series called “Keep Your Dream Alive.” In this series, we’ve been looking at the life of Joseph. We’re learning how Joseph cooperated with God to see his dream come to pass. Just as God created Joseph with a purpose in mind for his life, so God created you and me. God created us to accomplish something for Him with our lives. However, there will be many obstacles and barriers that will need to be overcome to see your dream fulfilled.
Today, we are going to look at an overview of Joseph’s life to see how he persevered in the face of overwhelming obstacles to his dream. We want to learn how we can have the same kind of persevering faith. So today, my message is entitled “Persevering Faith.” Persevering faith is a faith that does not give up when the going gets tough. Persevering faith keeps on believing, even when outward circumstances don’t look promising. Persevering faith has a confidence in God and His plan that keeps on going. Let’s look at what the book of Hebrews has to say about persevering faith.
Hebrews 3:12-14 (NIV) See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.
First, we see that to doubt God, to turn away from the living God in the face is difficulties is sin. So, we are to encourage one another to persevere in believing God. As believers, who share in Christ, we must continue to hold our faith and confidence firmly until the end of life, as we’ll see today that Joseph did. Jesus warns us that in the last days, the faith of many will die and not persevere. We are living in the last days, the time between Jesus’ resurrection and His second coming.
Matthew 24:12-14 (NIV) Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Jesus describes the loss of faith of most, as love growing cold. Jesus is speaking of the love of people for God. Only those with persevering faith, who stand firm to the end will be saved. When is the end? When the gospel has been preached to the whole world. So that is the ultimate mission of every believer, to see many more believers through the sharing of the gospel.
Today, we’re going to review Joseph’s life and see what the rest of the Bible has to say about this man of faith. As we do, we’re going to learn some principles that will help each one of us develop the kind of persevering faith that Joseph had. So, today the question we’re going to answer is “How can I have persevering faith?” God wants each one of us to stand firm to the end and be saved, as Joseph did.