Persevere Like Joshua

Pastor Darren Kishimoto   -  

Last week, Pastor Kory, Pastor Yasu, Stephen, and I gathered with about 20 other pastors at the Holiness Conference pastors’ retreat. We met at the San Damiano Retreat Center in Danville which is a quiet Franciscan retreat center about half an hour east of Oakland. It was an important time to get together since the last time we had met was before the pandemic began two years ago. Given all that’s happened in our churches, our congregations, and in our own personal lives, I think we needed a place to talk, pray, and support one another. While the theme of the retreat was community, to me an underlying issue was perseverance. As you can imagine, the last two years have been trying times for churches and pastors unable to do many of the things they’ve done in the past. Perseverance is needed to remain faithful and focused. However, we all need perseverance as we deal with COVID, the effects of the pandemic, and other trials in our lives.

Perseverance in our walk with God and obedience to Him are constant commands in the bible. One of the great examples of perseverance is Joshua.  Joshua was born a slave in Egypt, along with the rest of the Israelites. At the age of 40, he witnessed the liberation of his people from pharoah under the leadership of Moses. After that, Joshua still had to wait another 40 years before entering the promised land because of the sin of his fellow Israelites. Nevertheless, Joshua never gave up on following God.  In the face of trials and temptations, many Israelites lost hope and turned to idolatry. They had seen the power and wonders of God but lacked perseverance. Therefore, they did not receive their inheritance. Joshua was different though. He continually put his trust in God and walked in obedience. The wait was long and difficult. But in the end, he led Israel into the promised land. Joshua persevered and eventually received his promised inheritance.

As the pandemic drags on, as hope for normalcy seems to wane like the promised land in the distance, as we see people turn away from God to other things, we must persevere. We must remain faithful. James taught that godly wisdom requires perseverance. James 1:2-4 says “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Then in verse 12 he says, “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.” Persevere beloved. Continually place your trust in Him. In the end, maturity and eternal life will be yours.

Pastor Darren