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The reality is this: if you choose to be a relentless believer, one who rules in life, it is highly likely you will be slandered, lied about, misunderstood, and even marginalized.
Oral Roberts is in heaven now but his life and legacy continue. At age seventeen, Oral was about to die from tuberculosis. He relentlessly stood against the disease with the Word of God and prayer, and later was confirmed healed by his doctor. Oral received the crown of life in the arena of healing, and millions of people were subsequently strengthened and healed though his life and ministry.

I have a friend named Jimmy who has been a pastor for years and influenced many through his ministry. At a young age, he was given up to die by doctors but was taken to an Oral Roberts meeting. After Oral prayed for him, Jimmy miraculously recovered.

What if Oral hadn’t persevered as a young man? Where would my pastor friend be today—along with the millions of others who received healing through Oral Roberts’s ministry? What about all the people Pastor Jimmy has impacted for eternity—where would they be today? Oral entered rulership. The full result of his relentless belief will be known only at the judgment seat.

Or consider Kenneth E. Hagin. Born in McKinney, Texas, in 1917 with a deformed heart, Kenneth was later diagnosed with a rare, incurable blood disease. He became bedfast at age sixteen and was not expected to live beyond his teens. In April 1933 he died three times and saw hell, and each time Kenneth was brought back due to his mother’s and grandmother’s steadfast prayers. Kenneth gave his life to Jesus as Lord. He relentlessly believed and fought the disease with the Word of God. A pastor who came to visit and comfort him said, “Hang in there, son, it will all be over in a few days.” A year later Kenneth rose from his “death bed” and, shortly after, began to preach.

Kenneth Hagin’s ministry became world renowned, with more than sixtyfive million books in print and a Bible training center that has graduated more than thirty thousand men and women, many of whom are in full-time ministry. After sixty-five years of ministry, Kenneth is now home with the Lord, but his legacy continues. He received the crown of life in the arena of healing, and, as a result, untold multitudes have been healed and lives changed due to his faithful ministry.

What if Kenneth Hagin had not persevered? How would the millions he ministered to have been affected?

These people whose stories I’ve shared— Oral Roberts, and Kenneth Hagin—have something in common. They’ve all been attacked, lied about, and spoken of as evil.  During their lives, both Oral Roberts and Kenneth Hagin were accused of being in error, extreme, heretical, even demon inspired. But what did Jesus say about such things? “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26).

Interestingly, there are ministers and other believers who have lightened and broadened the message of the kingdom to make everyone feel comfortable. For fear of offending someone or of being labeled “intolerant” or “extremist,” they’ve withdrawn from fighting the good fight of faith. To them, anything that happens is the will of God and should be passively accepted. They’ve removed “offensive” portions from the Gospels, yet He’s referred to as “a rock of offense.” The Scriptures also call Jesus a “stumbling stone,” but they have reduced Him to a pebble that couldn’t cause anyone to stumble.

These pastors, ministers, and believers seem to want to be spoken well of by all; they’d never be accused of being extreme, heretical, or demon inspired. Yet Jesus was considered all of these things. He was relentless in truth. He exposed the deception of those who desired to be well spoken of. He announced, “Count yourself blessed every time someone cuts you down or throws you out, every time someone smears or blackens your name” (Luke 6:22, msg). Quite the opposite of being well spoken of, wouldn’t you agree? Then He gives the reason: “What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and that that person is uncomfortable.”

The reality is this: if you choose to be a relentless believer, one who rules in life, it is highly likely you will be slandered, lied about, misunderstood, and even marginalized by those who profess to follow Jesus but are satisfied with a comfortable life. They will seek to discredit you in order to justify their apathetic ways. They did this with the true prophets of the Old Testament, with John the Baptist, with Jesus, and with the leaders of the New Testament. They do so today. Your greatest resistance will most often be from those who claim to know God. It will range from lies and slander to exclusion. And it may even go as far as what Jesus foretold: “The time will come when those who kill you will think that by doing this they are serving God” (John 16:2, tev).

Do you want to rule in life for the glory of God? Do you want to impact lives for His kingdom, forever? Do you want to hear the Master say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant” on that great day? If so, settle it now: You will face thlipsis, or tribulation, sometimes quite intensely, and you’ll need to endure and overcome.

Source: Relentless: The Power You Need To Never Give Up by John Bevere.
Excerpt permission granted by Messenger International

Author Biography

John Bevere
Web site: Messenger International
 
Over 30 years ago, John and Lisa Bevere met in college. John was a tennis-playing engineering student, and Lisa was a sorority girl. On their very first date, John shared the gospel with Lisa and she gave her life to Christ. Soon after, they got married, and they've been happily married ever since.
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