Saturday, March 18, 2023

Anna Who Persevered

 One of the definitions for persevere in the dictionary is to persist in an undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition or discouragement. In other words, no matter what, you don’t give up until you have reached your goal. In the book of Luke in the New Testament we read about a woman who persevered for many decades. This portion of Scripture tells how Jesus’ earthly parents brought him to the temple to consecrate him to God and offer a sacrifice as prescribed by the Law. Then verse 36 says the few words written about her: The prophet Anna was also there in the temple… In her youth she had been married for seven years but her husband died. And now she was 84 years old. Night and day she served God in the temple by praying and often going without eating. At this time (referring to when Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus were there) Anna came in and praised God. She spoke about the child Jesus to everyone who hoped for Jerusalem to be set free.

            We learn from this small section of Scripture that she spent about 60 years of her life in the temple. Yet, did you know that she wasn’t admitted entrance to the actual temple? That’s because women were forbidden access to that. There was an inner court which was divided into two sections, one of which was the Women’s Court. So, despite being relegated to the court for women, nothing could discourage Anna’s total devotion to and love for God.

            Day after day, Anna joined other women who devoted themselves in continual service to the temple. Here she prayed to God continually for the coming of the Messiah and waited longingly for his appearance day in day out, month in month out, year in year out for over 60 years. And then one day the miracle happened! It started as an ordinary day and then she heard the words of Simeon after he had taken the baby Jesus in his arms saying, “Lord, I am your servant, and now I can die in peace  because you have kept your promise to me. With my own eyes I have seen what you have done to save your people, and foreign nations will also see this,” (vs 28-30).

             Then when Anna saw him in the arms of his parents, she recognized the Christ who was only about 6 weeks old. This was spirit connecting with spirit, ladies. She knew that she was in the presence of the promised Messiah because the God who resided in the child Christ connected with the spirit of God that resided in her. Isn’t that amazing and perhaps the great miracle in this story.

            Anna demonstrated great perseverance in spite of the restrictions placed on her. Ladies, be an Anna! Don’t let anything restrict your devotion to God and what it is He has placed in your heart to do. Not the fact that you are now a widow, no past mistakes, failures or sins, no life situation, and no cultural norms that might make it difficult. I don’t know your individual situations but I want to leave you with some that come to my mind:

  • Persevere in relationships which are troubled. Many may think things are always going to be the way they are. That person is never going to change. I encourage you to not give up – persevere in showing love and kindness to them and persevere in praying for God to work in them.
  • Persevere in getting that business taken care of which has become a headache and you just want to “throw in the towel.” Perhaps it’s of a legal nature, a medical nature, or a personal goal you’ve set for yourself. It could be a job you want to pursue, or completing an educational goal which you sidelined years ago.
  • Persevere in getting over the intense grief of losing your husband. I’m not suggesting that grief is wrong or that you shouldn’t feel sadness. But some of you may be clinging to your grief and aren’t willing to move on by finding new avenues to pursue and interests to develop.
  • Persevere through aches and pains that come with aging. There may be some of you who stay inside more than you should and draw back from joining in family, community or church activities. I encourage you to persevere through the general malaise that affects us all as we age and live life to its fullest.

The Scriptures encourage us with the truth that in God’s timing we shall reap what we have sown if we do not give up. So keep persevering and God will honor your faith and your steadfastness!

Bible Message By:  Shari Hervold

P.S. Happy Birthday Shari.  May God bless you on this your special day. 


Do you know Jesus...Here's how:

Admit your sins have separated you from God (Psalm 14:1-3: Rom 3:23)

Believe that God did something about your sins through Jesus Christ. (The final Pascal Lamb/Messiah) (Lev. 17:10: Heb 9:19-22.)

Commit - yourself to His righteous by confessing Jesus as Lord and Savior. (Isa 53:5: Col. 1:22) and do it today! (Isa 49:8: 2 Cor 6:2)

Father in Heaven, I'm sorry for the things I've done that are wrong: I am a sinner: forgive me. Thank you for loving me and sending your Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for my sin. Holy Spirit, come into my heart: Jesus be my Lord and Savior. I give You my life.  Amen

                                       Who You Say I Am by Hillside Worshipers 
      (I don't own any rights to this song. It is for entertainment and worship song only)