Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
Blessed Is the One Who Perseveres
“Do you intend to continue steadfast in this teaching and to endure all things, even death, rather than fall away from it?”
Ginny knew the question was coming. On the last day of Bible Information Class, Pastor Schroeder had talked to them about the adult confirmation ceremony. She and a handful of others would stand before the congregation and confess their faith according to the Apostles Creed. There would be some other questions by the pastor, with pre-rehearsed answers that she and the others would give. And then they would be welcomed into membership at St. James Lutheran Church. Ginny had been looking forward to this for weeks now.
But that one question—wow! Hearing it now in front of everyone, Ginny’s heart leapt into her throat.
She was so grateful to have found the gospel, to know that God loved her enough to send his own Son to take her place. Through faith in Christ she knew her sins were forgiven, and eternal life was hers. But would she always believe so firmly as she did at this moment?
“To endure all things, even death rather than fall away from it . . .” She couldn’t help but wonder what kinds of trials would be in store for her as a Christian. What tricks would Satan use against her? Which of her personal weaknesses might lead to her downfall?
But Ginny had learned from the Bible that God’s many promises included his assurance that he would hold his dear ones close to himself. Through the gospel, the Holy Spirit would strengthen and keep her with all the other believers in the true faith. Yes, temptations would come throughout her life, but she could count on Christ to be with her through his Word and sacraments. Heaven was her home. With that in mind, did she intend to continue steadfast in this teaching and to endure all things, even death, rather than fall away from it?
Ginny heard herself saying with the others, “I do, and ask God to help me.”
Holy Spirit, keep my faith strong through your Word, so that I might not lose your gift of eternal life in Jesus. Amen.