From a sermon by Robert J. Morgan
“We must never forget that the word perservere comes from the prefix per, meaning though, coupled with the word severe. It means to keep pressing on, trusting God, looking up, doing our duty — even through severe circumstances.”¹
The apostle Paul wrote about our journey through severe circumstances:
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed (2Corinthians 4:8 & 9).
Did you notice that Paul also used a few ‘per’ words –perplexed and persecuted? I thought I would, therefore, continue in Pastor Morgan’s thought.
In Greek: (aporew aporeo ap-or-eh’-o) perplexed indicates having no way out.
In English: The use of the term plex indicates a combining form meaning “having parts or units”
In Greek: (dioko dee-o’-ko) being pursued (but the rest of the verse indicates that because we are never forsaken by God, we are not overcome when pursued).
In English: (Se)cute –cute being a 1615 aphetic variant of acute, meaning sharp or severe in effect; intense or extremely great or serious; crucial; critical
Putting that all together, we may “pursued” by very acute trials, and it may seem there is no way out, but we will only go through these trials in parts – or perhaps a better term would be seasons.
Again, the Apostle Paul speaks of trials and summarizes the previous thoughts well:
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a SEASON, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (I Peter 1: 6, 7 – emphasis mine)
Are you going through trials and temptations right now? Keep pressing on! God will never leave you nor forsake you – Furthermore, those trials and temptations are only for a short season and the Lord will walk right through that fiery furnace of affliction with you !
¹Morgan quote taken from Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations & Quotes. Robert J. Morgan. Thomas Nelson Publishers. Nashville, Tn. 2000