Perseverance

The link below leads to a message titled Perseverance by Bill Sweeney.

Bill has been bed-ridden with ALS for 22 years. He is completely paralyzed, unable to speak, and communicates by means of a computer mouse that he controls with eye movements. Yet there is great grace in his life. I know where that comes from.

His wife Mary is his chief caregiver– a testimony in itself of great grace.

I urge my readers to partake of this message; there is much en-courage-ment here. Bill’s trial of deep affliction is yielding great wealth to the body of Christ, especially for those who themselves are going through deep waters. (Read the comments too; there’s much inspiration there.)

After I read this I was once again humbled by the realization of the many saints who are already gathered in the church in Heaven, and of others like Bill who will one day gather with them. Oh, the  testimonies of the triumph of our Lord Jesus Christ in the lives of countless saints! It leaves me absolutely awed. When it comes my turn to gather with them, I will want to slip in quietly, and take a seat at the back.

Perseverance

13 responses »

  1. Wow … thanks for sharing, Allan. What an inspirational fellow.

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  2. Hi Allan — I so appreciate having the opportunity to read this post. I’ve had some setbacks these past few weeks in my journey back to health and this was a well timed lesson on how I should be handling my illness. I’m not sure there is a “back to health” for me, I may have reached the point of “this is as good as it will get.” I will put a copy of this post my in prayer journal (which has really become my “reminder book” — reminding me of who God is, how much He cares for His children and the full-on meaning of all He provides for us so that we can live in His presence while on this broken planet.)

    Perseverance is not a concept I have been thinking about, but I agree with everything Bill said and want to make perseverance part of my daily consciousness. I certainly do not feel like I can drum it up, for ‘giving up’ is more what comes to my mind. The last two days I’ve been meditating on Andrew Murray’s “Absolute Surrender” and this post is a perfect add-on to what I am learning there. Murray always challenges us to seek the mind of God on things, and to trust Him through the Spirit to give us what we need to live in dependence upon Him.

    It really is amazing how we can read and re-read Scriptures over the years and miss the depths of their meaning until we are given new eyes to see because of some trial that will not go away! One thing I love about Murray — he talks about the pleasure God gets when we abide in Him because we know and trust Him. How amazing that fallen creatures (who are slow to learn and need constant reminders) can give God pleasure!!

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    • Hi Lori. Bill’s message has been a great inspiration to me as well. It has given me much enCOURAGEment in the midst of my own affliction. I too want “to make perseverance part of my daily consciousness.”

      One thing that struck me while I was reading Bill’s message, and feeling so moved, was that I was actually touching the perseverance of Christ Himself. Then later in the day I read short devotional Ron Bailey had put on Friends of Biblebase. The words “in Him” jumped out at me:

      “I can do all things in him that strengtheneth me.”(Phil. 4:13 ASV)

      * In everything I am strong in the one having enabled/empowered me, Christ (RB)

      In everything? No exceptions? This day? This trial? Every mountain top? Every valley?

      For this we have Jesus…”

      Amen, Lori. In Him. In Christ there is a perseverance that is not our own, but is ours, as Andrew Murray says so often, as we abide in Him.

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      • I very much concur with the fact that it is by HIS PERSEVERANCE that we endure the trials of faith. It is HIS patience and faith because it is HIS trial and suffering that we are participating in. “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and PATIENCE OF JESUS CHRIST! It is important for us to know that while we are in the time of PATIENT ENDURANCE that we are actually “Reigning in Life” or “Ruling in the Midst of our enemies”!! We are participating and contending “WITH HIM” for that FAITH which is the REAL FAITH, the FAITH of the SON OF GOD which is intended to culminate in nothing less than His Appearing in our midst as “THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE” of his people!!

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  3. The following comment by Terry Conroy was first posted to Bill Sweeney’s blog Unshakable Hope. Since Terry read Bill’s blog from the link I posted here, I want to copy his comment here as well:

    Happy birthday to you Bill,

    Having read over (a couple of times) your Blog on ‘Perseverance’ I would like to commend you for your on-going victory and that by ‘the grace of God’. But no matter how great your victory, in Jesus there is always more. As I have never read any of your writings except this one I do not know where your faith is at in regards to ‘Divine Healing’, but I would like to exhort you not to give up on receiving the healing touch of Jesus upon your body.

    A brief background:
    In the last two years my wife and I have both had major surgery, my wife for the 2nd time and myself for at least the seventh time. So our faith has not come without much trial and tribulation. We, like you, are both walking in victory without that slightest smell of smoke upon our spirits. But the Lord would have us not to give up on healing. We are not into naming it and claiming it without hearing a specific ‘naming it’ by the Holy Spirit. But if the Holy Spirit says “I am going to heal your physical body” then our responsibility is to hear it and to believe it and to hope for it.
    The more hopeless the situation the more the Lord is glorified. There could be a greater purpose in our lives that after patience (perseverance) has done its perfect work. …Could it be that God would choose to be glorified by imparting his resurrection life into our mortal bodies?

    I would like to share a few short, very familiar verses that perhaps will speak to what I am saying to you. There is a danger that after we have been walking with the Lord for a number of decades most scriptures become very familiar and could lose their impact. May God quicken his living word to us once again.

    Scriptures:
    12 years:
    And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years……..and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.

    18 years:
    And behold there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years…………and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.

    40+ years: For the man was above 40 years old, on whom this miracle of healing was showed.

    Purpose: And His disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
    Jesus answered, neither has this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

    Jesus’ Modus Operandi: But thou hast kept the good wine until now.

    Bill, God Bless you and your ever so faithful wife, and your two daughters and all that is yours.

    Terry Conroy

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    • AMEN!!!!

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    • Twelve years, eighteen years, forty-plus years… That list encourages me too, with an affliction first diagnosed 26 years ago, to always leave open the prospect of healing. Thanks, Terry.

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    • Not simply the prospect of healing Allan, but, considering the hour that we are living in, the likelihood of full salvation and redemption!! Not that we are looking for any form of healing, as a thing, as such, But that your faith might be found unto praise and honour and glory in the ‘Appearing of Jesus Christ”! I feel we are right there now! The Day is at hand!! I Feel strongly we should all be seeking and anticipating and looking for HIM -the Lord APPEARING in our midst,–AND he is going to appear into the REALM of that FAITH, that has made a people ready for HIM!!!

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  4. Allan,
    This is the response I received this morning from my comment of yesterday to Bill Sweeney on his blog Unshakable Hope.

    Terry,
    Thank you for your comments on my perseverance post. I couldn’t agree with you more! I don’t even understand a theology that says, “if it’s God’s will I’ll be healed…” I know God’s will, my friend, I looked at the end of the Book – suffering, death and mourning… Are God’s enemies! He hates ALS more than me, Terry!
    Some ask, “then, why doesn’t He heal you?” I don’t fully understand the answer, I just know I can’t just sit around, people are dying and going to hell. It’s God’s will for everyone to come to Christ, too, but not all are saved.
    I know one thing, if this disease takes my life, with my last breath I’m going to believe in healing. How could I do otherwise? Either way, I’m going to enter heaven full of faith, believing for God’s best, which includes healing!
    How could one proclaim “God is Good” without believing that He really is good? By praying for healing or any other good gift from God, we cannot pray as if we’re trying to get something that He doesn’t already want us to have. That’s self-righteousness, akin to saying, “if I was God…” Look what you did, you got me fired up!
    Thanks for your comments,
    Bill

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    • Wonderful! “Thanks be unto God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” By faith, we rejoice in that victory even before it is manifested.

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