Encouragement to Press On and Persevere During the Spiritual Battle

During this blog series, we’ve discussed how as believers we are constantly under attack from the enemy. We’ve defined spiritual warfare, offered practical advice for overcoming temptation and taking your thoughts captive, and studied how to wear the Armor of God.

Today, we want to offer you encouragement to help you press on and persevere in the battle.

The Apostle Paul’s Example 

In our study on spiritual warfare, we’ve often referred to passages of Scripture written by the Apostle Paul. Paul could speak on this topic well and often because he knew it well and personally:

  • He was imprisoned during his ministry several times including once in Philippi (Acts 16:23-40), a few times in Jerusalem and Caesarea (Acts 21:27-36; 23:23-35; 24:1-27; 25:1-12; 26:1-32), and twice in Rome (Acts 28:16-31; 2 Timothy).
  • He was stoned and left for dead by a mob in Lystra (Acts 14:19)
  • He was beaten and flogged several times (Acts 16:22-23; 2 Corinthians 11:24-25)
  • He was shipwrecked multiple times (Acts 27:13-44; 2 Corinthians 11:25)
  • He experienced many hardships, including hunger, thirst, cold, and nakedness (2 Corinthians 11:27)
  • He struggled with a weakness he called a “Thorn in the Flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
  • He escaped plots against his life (Acts 9:23-24; 18:6)
  • He faced rejection and opposition from various groups, including Jews and Gentiles. (Acts 13:45; Acts 18:6)

We can be encouraged by the writings of Paul and his example. The more he shared the gospel, the more spiritual warfare he faced. And yet, he didn’t give up living out the call Jesus had on his life.

Life demands more than you can supply.

This is why we need to depend on Jesus.

From the moment he was called by God to share the gospel, Paul depended on God to sustain him in this calling. In fact, in 2 Corinthians 11 and 12, Paul boasts about his weakness and suffering because not only did God’s strength help him endure but also because his hardships resulted in God’s glory. For Paul, his faith and trust in the Lord provided what he needed to press on and persevere.

Prayer should be your first resort, not your last. 

When you’ve done all you can do, that’s when God steps in and does what’s beyond your ability and imagination.

Paul believed God was accessible through prayer, and that we should meet with God through prayer consistently. In his letter to the church at Philippi, he was able to write the words, “do not be anxious” and “rejoice always” from prison where he was awaiting execution because he was consistently meeting with the Lord through prayer. The stress of his reality couldn’t make him lose hope because he was constantly spending time with hope Itself, Jesus.

Nothing is impossible when you trust in the Lord. 

When you feel like you can’t go on in the battle, remember Paul’s words in Ephesians 3:20: “[God] is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” 

Paul witnessed and performed miracles during his ministry, even during trials. Once while imprisoned, an earthquake broke Paul and Silas’s chains setting them free after they had spent the night praising and praying to God. (Acts 16)

You can’t win the fight on your own merit, but God has already won the war. When you trust Him to fight the battle for you, you’ll see miracles happen, too. It may not be what you expect, but it’ll be better than you could imagine.


Inspired by message five of Mt. Bethel Church’s BATTLE sermon series, entitled, “Pressing on and Persevering” by Dr. Jody Ray. You can listen to the message here. You can also subscribe to get access to the study guide that accompanies this series here.