“In your patience possess ye your souls” (Luke 21:19).
“Possess (Gr. Ktaomai): To get, acquire, own
As one reads the passage from Luke 21 in context the events and circumstances surrounding the words of Jesus portray the most trying trials, tribulations and tests of one’s core being, and the counsel of the Lord is patience for the sake of preserving the soul.
Possess Ye Your Souls: To possess the soul is to keep it under your ownership. We can keep the soul secure by our faith and our trust in the Lord and by being yoked in spirit to Him. One can lose his soul by selling it, allowing it to be taken over by others, or possessed by the Evil One which is the ultimate loss that has eternal consequences. “For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26). From this we can clearly see that possessing our souls is in the end the ultimate triumph.
In Your Patience: “Let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing” (James 1:4). We do not have to look far to see the example we need when enduring the trials, tribulations and test of life. “Behold, we count them happy which endure. You have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord, that the Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy” (James 5:11). Maintaining our focus on the Lord, keeping our confession, controlling our emotions, submitting the keeping of our souls to the Holy Spirit, our Helper, surrendering our will to the grace of God are all valuable attributes to employ in the midst of all life’s storms.
In the time of His greatest trial in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus said to His disciples, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death; tarry here and watch with Me” (Matthew 26:37). Then Jesus went forward and prayed, “O, My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39b). In the patience of waiting on the Father’s will, Jesus stayed in possession of His soul; then willfully He offered up His life as the Lamb of God, the atoning sacrifice for the sin of the whole world.
The writer to the Hebrews spoke directly to the issue at hand:
“Cast not away therefore your confidence which has great recompence of reward. For you have need of patience, that after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise. For yet a little while and He that shall come will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith, but if any man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them that draw back unto perdition, but of them that believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:35-39).
Beloved, let us take heed to the words of wisdom from the Lord. In our patience, we can possess our souls, even unto the saving of them in our times of testing and in the Great Day of the Lord to come.