September 2019 Newsletter - "Stamina of the Mind" by Vanessa Hayes

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Shalom Family! Those of you keeping up with us know the last year has been a busy season with many changes and much growth. It has been a building season, both spiritually and naturally. In the natural we have laid the foundation and will be erecting a new tent of meeting, hallelujah! This is perfect timing as we approach the closing of the Hebrew calendar year 5779 and begin to transition into the year 5780 with next month’s fall feasts. Through all of this, there is also a parallel spiritual building up process taking place in our character and mind through new revelation. Many of us have had to stretch ourselves to learn new things in order to contribute our portion to the building process, which demands mental fortitude or stamina of the mind.

Stamina is the bodily or mental capacity to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity which is endurance [1]. It is also speaking about the constitution or makeup of something as its strength and is, related to the idea of having a strong bottom, or foundation for which something can be built upon and upheld [2]. Doesn’t this sound familiar? There are several scriptures that probably immediately come to mind, so let’s look at a few to get deeper insight.

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience [G5281] 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 [G5278] the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

If you’re like me, you might ask how does one run a race with patience? It almost seems like an oxymoron. In the above passage, the Strong’s definition G5281 for patience is speaking about a cheerful endurance. Meaning, simply enduring a difficult season, “tolerating” a person or circumstance, or even laboring for the Word of God is not enough. Rather, we should have a spirit of joy or cheerfulness during all things, so that we may rightly display patience as a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22). This word for patience is derived from the Greek word, hupomenō, G5278, which means:

to stay under (behind), that is, remain; figuratively to undergo, that is, bear (trials), have fortitude, persevere: - abide, endure, (take) patient (-ly), suffer, tarry behind.

In Mark 4:16-17, Jesus talks about those who “have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.”  The Greek word used here is proskairos G4340 and is speaking about a temporary endurance. From this, we begin to see a clear distinction of two different types of endurance, one being temporal and another being eternal. The Lord is looking for us to have this eternal endurance which perseveres in truth, always doing good (Prov 3:27), being slow to anger (James 1:19), bearing trials, being mocked for the truth we profess, and being willing to remain behind to prepare others (not escape in a false rapture theology). We see a fine example of perfected endurance when we look at Apostle Paul’s statement:

For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless, to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; Philippians 1:23-25

When we persevere with joy, this is an apostolic attribute being formed within us. Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:12 tells us that this kind of patience is one of the signs of an apostle and again in 2 Timothy 3:10 which says that this patience is a part of his manner of life, which is doctrine. We must learn to embrace this process, because it is the only way our faith can become perfected (James 1:3-4).

Referring to our understanding of stamina as the makeup or constitution which provides strength for endurance and further building, we see confirmation of this apostolic attribute again in Ephesians 2:20-22, which says we are:

“built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

It is also interesting to note that racehorses are bred for stamina or for their strength. It is no coincidence that Apostle Paul likens our faith to a race, the prophet Jeramiah speaks about being able to run with horses in Jeremiah 12:5, and in Revelation 19:11-16 John sees Jesus riding on a white horse. According to Origen, an early church father, the white horse is symbolic of people with an undefiled understanding of the higher knowledge of God [3]. We know the foundations are the apostles, so those called to be apostles must be the white horses Jesus can ride upon, with pure doctrinal foundations who can endure the persecution of false teachings and build up others [4], hallelujah!

Joyfully enduring,
Vanessa Hayes

References:
[1] Merriam-Webster Dictionary
[2] Webster’s Dictionary
[3] Origen’s Commentary on the Gospel of John, Book 2 Part 1
[4] Prophetic interpretation from Pastor Michael Petro

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