Derek Prince - Are You Ready To Get Your Faith Tested?
And then in Revelation 3, speaking to the church at Laodicea, Jesus says: I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, and white raiment. That’s not bought with money but it’s bought. And as I understand it, here in Luke Jesus says you have to purchase the salvation of your soul by your endurance. If you don’t endure, you’ll be lost. Then there was the Scripture that Ruth and I proclaimed: We count it all joy when we fall into various trials. Can you say that? I mean, I know you can say the words but is it true? See, why we proclaim that Scripture is because God convinced us, convicted us that it wasn’t that way with us.
When we fell into various certain trials we, I don’t know that we complained but we certainly didn’t count it all joy. So we had to confess that as a sin. And, we’re trying to do better. But James says count it all joy when you fall into various trials. Why? Because the testing of your faith produces endurance. I have observed in the New Testament that every test a Christian goes through ultimately is a test of faith. It may take many forms but what is being tested is your faith. And then James says: let endurance have its perfect work... Don’t stop short, don’t start to endure and then give up. let endurance have its perfect work that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. I asked you before, how many of us want to be perfect and complete, lacking nothing? What’s the condition? Endurance, that’s right.
There’s no way around it. And you know, there’s only one way to learn to endure, do you know what that is? Enduring, that’s right. One of the words used in the old King James Version was longsuffering. And you know how you learn longsuffering? By suffering long. There’s no other way to do it. I mean, you can laugh at that but it’s exactly correct. I know a brother, a sister came to him for prayer, a minister, and said: Brother So and So, pray for me I get out of this situation, I can’t stand the boss I’m working for. He said: No, I won’t pray for you, you haven’t suffered long enough. I’d like to turn to the end of James for a few moments.
I want to point out to you how closely endurance is connected with preparation for the coming of the Lord. James chapter 5, just reading verses 7–11. Now the word that’s used here mainly is patience. And let me offer you a little English lesson for which I make no extra charge. There are three related English words: patience, perseverance and endurance. They’re related but they’re distinct and all of them have their place in Christian experience. Patience is derived from the same Latin root which gives us the word passive. Patience is essentially doing nothing. And God expresses patience.
Peter says that the patience of God waited in the days of Noah. God didn’t do anything. For a hundred and twenty years He let man go on. Lots of people have concluded God doesn’t care. That’s not so. It was the patience of God. Often God exercises patience, He doesn’t do anything. You say how could He let Hitler get away with it? The patience of God. So, patience, in a sense, in a good sense, is doing nothing. And then there’s perseverance which you could interpret as doing something and persistently doing it, going on and on and on doing it. Not stopping. And then there’s endurance which is the word we’re mainly dealing with. And the Greek word means remaining under.
So you’re under all these pressures and endurance is remaining there. It’s holding out against them but it’s not trying to escape from them. So we have these three aspects of Christian conduct: patience, perseverance and endurance. And they’re all involved in the preparation for the coming of the Lord. So I’ll read these few verses from James 5:7: Therefore, be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. You know, I find that for most men servants of the Lord, patience is the hardest thing to achieve. I think women are better at patience than men. It doesn’t mean they’re good.
But I mean, I had been a Christian at least thirty years before I realized that my besetting sin was impatience. I wasn’t even convicted of it. And when I began to deal with it, dear Lord, I realized what a hold it had over me. All right, we’re going on. 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. Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the judge is standing at the door. My brethren, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord as an example of suffering and patience.