If We Do Not Lose Heart

By Francis Frangipane
(En EspaƱol)

The prophet Daniel warns of a time when Satan will "wear down the saints of the Highest One" (Dan. 7:25). How this occurs in the final hours of the age remains to be seen, but this battle is already occurring today. The final effect of what seems like never-ending delays is that believers are worn out.

Do you know anyone who is weary with his or her battle? Are you yourself weary? I know many who seem trapped in situations that should have been remedied months and even years ago, but the battle continues against them. Situations and people, often empowered by demonic resistance, stand in opposition to the forward progress of God’s people. As a result of constant demonic opposition, many Christians gradually accept a quiet, but weighty, oppression on their souls.

This battle to wear out the saints may be rooted in conflicts with children or spouses; perhaps it is some unresolved issue or division within their churches. It may be a work conflict or health battle, yet on and on it goes. Like a skilled and masterful thief, the enemy daily steals the joy, strength and passion of Christians, and many do not even realize what they have lost or how much.

The scale is actually larger than our personal struggles. Consider the various conflicts in the world. Some have continued for generations. We can understand why, even in the midst of great worship and praise by the redeemed, there is a place under the altar in Heaven where the saints continue to ask, "How long, O Lord?" (Rev. 6:10). Fifty-eight times in the Bible, from beginning to end, the phrase how long is echoed by those who grew weary with waiting.

Sometimes the delays are God-ordained to perfect faith and character. On the other hand, there are also occasions when Satan seeks to resist the fulfillment of God’s plans until we grow weary and quit. Satan is the dragon whose goal is to "drag-on" the battle with draining, wearying delays. He persists until we wear out, give up and quit praying.

Additionally, as situations stretch beyond reasonably expected conclusions, weariness of soul can also exacerbate the original situation, leading to fleshly reactions or just overreactions, which also need resolution. We lose patience, eventually seeking relief rather than victory. This compromises the standards of God and conscience.

Perseverance
There is a reason the book of Revelation mentions the word perseverance seven times. Over and over again we see those who persevered and overcame. It is one thing to have vision, another to have godly motives, but neither will carry us to our objectives by itself. We must also persevere.

The root of the word persevere is the word severe. We must face the fact that en route to victory our trials may get severe. Likewise, it is with severe faith---severe or extreme steadfastness---that we inherit the promises of God (Heb. 10:36). James tells us: "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" (James 1:2-4).

Endurance. Perseverance. Steadfastness. These are the qualities that breed character, that transform the doctrine of Christlikeness into a way of life. "Let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect." The key to true maturity, to a life "lacking in nothing," is perseverance.

Character before Breakthrough
We mentioned Daniel earlier as a prophet who warned about Satan’s ploy to wear down the saints. God gave him a vision of the end of the age. Here is what he wrote: "I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them" (Dan. 7:21). This is the nature of the battle. There are times we feel war storming against our souls, overpowering us. But the prophet said the sense of overpowering continued only "until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom" (v. 22).

There is a principle here that, once understood, will lead to victory in our battles. If we endure, if we climb higher into God, if we refuse to lose our trust in God, a time will come when the Ancient of Days enters our circumstances. Looking at our newly developed character, which has grown strong through perseverance, He will pass judgment in favor of our cause. God looks at our character, forged in the fire of overpowering delays and battle, and says, "Good, this is what I was waiting for."

Whatever your battle, whether you are praying for your country or standing for your children, whether your cry is for the lost or for the end of some local or personal conflict, remember: it is not enough to sow the right seeds or even have the right soil. We will only reap "if we do not lose heart" (Gal. 6:9 NKJV).


Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, "This Day We Fight" available at www.arrowbookstore.com.