Scripture Reference 2 Kings 2 : 1-3
When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal.
2 Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. 3 The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?” “Yes, I know,” Elisha replied, “so be quiet.”
In this new Life Lessons series we will be looking at illustrations of persevering faith as revealed in the life of Elisha. If you are a Christian then you have faith in the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, through whom you have forgiveness of sins, a new identity, a dynamic relationship with God, and the indwelling Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit who leads, guides and empowers you.
Faith in Christ has and is accomplishing all of these things in you and more; yet many of us are also experiencing discouragement, doubts, fears, questions and even spiritual defeat. We find this kind of dichotomy at work within us and we wonder why that is. I believe we all struggle with persevering faith; that is faith that perseveres through the many challenges of life reassuring us when we are confronted with the many issues mentioned above and undergirding us so that our faith is not eroded or displaced not even for a moment.
Elisha wonderfully illustrates for us this spiritual discipline of holding fast to faith no matter what confronts us. Faith is a gift from God, holding fast to that faith is a matter of the will. Recall the apostles words in his letter to the Philippians 2: 12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
Here in the above text we encounter the great prophet Elijah walking along with his protégé Elisha and preparing for his imminent departure from this world. When someone we have grown to love, respect and highly esteem is about to be taken from us, we need to hunker down and grab hold of the faith Christ has birthed in us because challenges to that faith will sweep over us like the tossing of an angry sea. In Christ and through perseverance in faith we will get through the crisis and come out of it stronger and more mature than when we entered it.
Elijah said to Elisha three separate times, “Stay here while I go ….”, but Elisha would not be dissuaded from following. When following the Lord’s directives we will surely encounter impediments that will try us and test us to see if we will go the whole way. Hold onto the promise God has placed within you and the calling God has placed upon your life! Let nothing dissuade you from going all the way trusting and believing God will see you through! Great blessings await those who persevere in the faith!