If we truly belong to Christ, we will abide in him. We will remain. We will “hold our original confidence firm to the end” (Heb. 3:14). Even if we run away for a time, we will return. Even if we face horrific pain and struggle, we will endure.

What does this mean? How do we do this? I’m a self-reliant workaholic. Trust and abiding are something I am still learning, usually in the school of hard knocks (or the college of autoimmune).

Does abiding in Christ mean we will never doubt, never fear, and never question? Will we grit our teeth and by the strength of our own determination hold on? I posit, no.

We are human, and we are flawed. Because we could do nothing to save ourselves, God sent his Son to do all the dirty work. He submitted to death. He died. He bought us back with his blood. He rose. Work accomplished.

All we must do is believe, and he himself places that faith within us. That isn’t even our doing. None of this is. Likewise, the God who did all of this work will sustain and transform us.

It’s ALL and ONLY Jesus’ work as our high priest—living a perfect life, dying a sinless death, cleansing our sins, sympathizing with us in every trial, and helping us with his mercy and grace.

He gives us the ability to trust that he is able to do it all—rescue us, sustain us, and bring us safely into his eternal kingdom. When we believe, Christ places his Holy Spirit within us. We become a Holy of Holies, a temple of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit then sustains, refines, and guarantees our safe arrival in heaven.

It now is Christ’s Spirit in us, propelling us forward toward holiness. He nudges. He urges. He convicts. He gives us the desire to change. He empowers us. He upholds us. He picks us up when we blow it. He puts us back together. He helps us stand again and press forward.

He does it. It’s all God’s grace. (John 6:48-51; 14:16-20, 23-24; Romans 8:9-11; Colossians 1:24-28a; Ephesians 5:25-32)

“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples” (John 8:31).

“The one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matt.:10:22)

What does it mean to “endure” or to “abide”? Isn’t it sheer human effort? Well, if it is, most of the Old Testament prophets and all of Jesus’ disciples failed repeatedly.

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Instead, what we see is engagement, conversation, honesty, and transparency. They weren’t afraid to ask the difficult question, to bring their incomprehension and doubt to Jesus, and to lay it at his feet (or to stick it in his wounded side and hands).

Abiding in Christ and enduring depend upon this type of transparent trust in the Savior. We can tell him anything. We can even ask for his help to believe. We can ask for faith when we waver. He already knows our doubts and fears.

Abiding entails leaning into him for enablement, trusting him to catch and to hold us, and counting on him. This is what faith is, not silently trying to live in obedience by our own puny strength.

Enduring is remaining under, by the grace of God learning to rely on him alone. The reality of this relationship is that, if we are truly his, we will rely on him for even our abiding and enduring. We’ll lean on him to hold us tight.

In our darkest places, we can honestly tell the Lord, “I don’t understand this. I’m afraid of you in this. Please help me in my unbelief. I want to believe. Hold on to me.”

He is the enabler and sustainer. He enables us to abide, remain, and endure. This is Christ-powered perseverance.

Do you ever try to do this in your own strength? I do. When I write, I’m usually preaching to myself.

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