• Retah McPherson

Patience – endurance – perseverance

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Rom. 5:1-5).

All of us need to “cultivate” endurance in our lives. The tribulations we experience produces the perseverance, character and hope we so desperately need.

When Yahweh gives you a promise, it is something that you have to hold onto with everything inside of you – and most of the time the fulfillment of the promise doesn’t come to pass immediately. It is a process; just like the Israelites also had to go through a Wilderness experience before they could enter the Promised Land. The “waiting period” is an extremely important part of the journey, because the Wilderness cultivates the character you need for living in the Promised Land.

Endurance is definitely one of the things that the Lord is busy cultivating in me. The enemy’s greatest strategy is to try and get people to become discouraged, to make them doubt that Yahweh will come through for them, and ultimately cause them to give up on His promises – even when the Word says that God is not a man that He should lie.

We have been walking this road with Aldo for seven years now, and I can see how the enemy is constantly resisting and trying to hinder Yahweh’s promises to us; but what is more important is that I can testify that God has been with us over every mountain and through every deep valley, and that I can still joyfully declare: Jesus, You truly are the Son of God!

The trials and tests help us to die to ourselves, and to understand that our life’s journey is not about ourselves, but all about Him. The Word of God is given to us so that we can know Him more. Why is it that we always think Yahweh has to fit into our ways and into our plans? We can rejoice because of what the future holds for us – the children of Yahweh, the army of God. We have to get to a place where we die to ourselves and rejoice in the hope of what the future may hold, even if we are facing great tribulation in the present.

Aldo suffered from epilepsy for many years after the accident. In my ignorance, pride and unwillingness to learn, I refused to believe that there was a demonic spirit (death and dumb spirit) that could have caused the epileptic fits. As Aldo continued to suffer and I kept on crying out to the Lord, I reached a point where I couldn’t take it anymore. I cried out to the Lord that day and prayed: “Lord, I can’t go on any longer. Please Lord, help me and teach me. I acknowledge that I don’t know what to do or how to handle this situation. Lord I repent of my ignorance, pride and stubbornness about these things that I don’t understand. I acknowledge that You alone are God, and I bow my knee to You and I accept whatever You instruct me about the spiritual realm – even if I don’t understand it all yet.”

Because I humbled myself before the Lord and repented of my pride and ignorance, the Holy Spirit could start working in me; and because I was now open to receive it, Wisdom also started revealing things through Aldo’s pen. It became clear to me that Aldo’s soul had tremendous wounds because of fear, rejection and trauma.  

As we progressed the Lord showed me that the walls of protection around his soul were broken at certain places, and that the enemy gained entry through those holes to torment him. Today I know that epilepsy is not from Yahweh – and that also applies to many other situations we go through in life. But until we come to a place of humility and repentance, we will keep on being ignorant of the enemy’s schemes.

“Endurance” is what stood up in our lives. We chose to say, “Yeshua, we won’t give up. We will keep on pressing on – because you give us the strength to do it.”

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek (Heb. 6:19-20).

When our souls are not anchored in hope, we will be tossed around by the waves of fear and hopelessness. Aldo describes it in his lingo as: “The enemy throws acid of fear on me, Mom – and that is when I become anxious and fearful.” How many people do you know that are walking around with high levels of acid in their lives? How many people do you know with some or other disease, and you can see the fear and bitterness on their faces, or hear it when they speak? We need to move out of our ignorance and anchor ourselves in hope. We need to stand firm in the faith that Yeshua is in me and that the Word of the Lord will manifest in my life.

To stand firm during tribulations and to resist the enemy when he wants to come and steal from your life, brings about perseverance, proven character, and finally – the kind of hope that doesn’t disappoint. We have to go through all of this for one reason: to have hearts that are found faithful.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honour, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls (1 Pet. 1:3-9).

I have learned that our love is determined by our character. We will all go through the process of being “tested by fire”. The hand of the King is upon our lives to protect and guide us – and He is developing our character through the trials that He allows in our lives.  

We can rejoice (boast and exult) in our tribulations (James 1:2), because tribulation is the only thing that will produce perseverance. And perseverance will produce character, and character will produce the kind of hope that doesn’t disappoint or fail. Your character is the testimony of your faithful heart. When you are found faithful by the King, He will be able to trust you with more authority so that you can go and do what He has destined you for from the beginning of the world.

For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light (Col. 1:9-12).

It is so wonderful to know that Yahweh wants us to be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding! Where Paul says “that you may walk worthy of the Lord”, keep in mind that when we are filled with the knowledge of Yahweh, it will affect the way we live our lives every day. This is the starting point of understanding that our lives are about Him, and not about “me, me, me”.

Yahweh has a much bigger picture in mind. He sees that we are the living stones of the New Jerusalem, with Yeshua as the corner stone. Our “big picture” vision will have a great effect on how we handle adversity.

It is one thing to “suffer long”, but the Lord has shown us as a family, that it is a completely differing thing to suffer long with joyfulness – and that is to have righteousness joy and peace in the Holy Spirit (in the midst of the trial), for that is the Kingdom of God.

To suffer joyfully will require endurance and strength of us. Patience and endurance (believing and firmly trusting God when the world tells you to turn back) are signs of strength; they are not signs of weakness.

And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises (Heb. 6:11-12).

To inherit the promises we need faith and patience, not the “name it and claim it” theology. I know, that I know, that I know, that Yahweh is going to heal Aldo completely – but as we are walking up to that moment, He is cultivating faith and patience and endurance in us. These are lessons that I cannot go without, and there is only one way to learn them – through trials.

I had to resist and overcome the darts of weariness, hopelessness and discouragement that came from the enemy. When you are in Yahweh’s will and have done all that He has asked of you, but you still haven’t received the fulfillment of the promise yet – you might wonder in frustration what more God requires of you to do? Dear fellow overcomer, just endure – because it is all about Him; and He has your times in His hands. You can trust Him. Your promise comes from the One in whom there is no deceit and who cannot lie. But remember, it is not about the promise – it is all about Him and what He is busy working in you, and that He is transforming you into His image. All for His glory! All for Him! Yes, your everything for His glory! 

You have to hold on to Him, and not love your promise more than you love Him. We need faith and patience to receive our promise; and faith is loving, trusting and resting in Yahweh, knowing that whatever we are going through at the moment is all going to be for His glory. As we become less and He becomes more, His glory will be made manifest in us.

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Heb. 12:1-2).

Let us lay aside every weight that hinders us from running our race for Jesus. We cannot afford to carry these things that pull us down. We need to cast our cares upon Him, knowing that He loves us. All competitive runners know not to carry any unnecessary weight with them – it will only slow them down. Praise the King of glory; I have learned to empty myself before Him every day, and to run my race only focusing on Him. (Photo: Chantelle, Josh and Aldo)

At many of the places where I minister I see a cloud of heaviness resting on the people. They expect me to lay my hands on them and make this cloud disappear. No, all of us have to go to Yeshua. We have to look to Him. We have to cast our cares, our emotional baggage, our pain and worries, on Him. Once you are free from everything that hinders you, you will start to run - and you will see how he takes you from there and makes you fly!

I returned and saw under the sun that—

The race is not to the swift,

Nor the battle to the strong,

Nor bread to the wise,

Nor riches to men of understanding,

Nor favor to men of skill;

But time and chance happen to them all (Eccl. 9:11).

It is not about speed or strength – but about endurance!

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:2-4).

Yes, I am running my race. I do not always reveal to the world how difficult our battle really is. I find that the harder the trials become, the quieter I get. But oh, how I rejoice in my King! I rejoice to see His character forming in my family. It doesn’t matter how difficult it is – there will always be righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit for us. Thank You for Your Kingdom Lord!

We love You Lord, oh how we love You!

Retah and family.

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