I have been thinking a lot about endurance lately. There are many people I love, including myself that need encouragement right now so I decided to write a love note of sorts, to us all. Someday, we will all to sit at the feet of Jesus and praise Him. O, What a reunion that will be!
Initially, here are a few scriptures to ponder.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NKJV)
Hebrews 10:36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: ‘For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has not pleasure in him.’ (NKJV)
In a world that wants everything right now and wants to throw everything away, the concept of endurance has been lost. What does endurance mean? How can we apply this to our lives?
In order to increase the endurance in our lives, we must learn to work hard. Not all things in life come easy. In fact, I would venture to say that most things that are worth accomplishing require a lot of hard work to attain. If it were easy, it would not be so valuable. Both verses above state that endurance comes from doing the will of God. Do you know what His will is for you? When did you last study and apply His will for your life? We must be constantly reading and studying to know what His will is for our lives. For me, this time in my life is one that is very hard. It is hard to raise children, transition some to college, and be caring for aging family members. These are all things that he calls us to do in his Holy Scriptures. God never promised us that the road to heaven would be easy, in fact just the opposite. Think about all the challenges that have taken place throughout the centuries, in the name of Christ, starting with Christ himself.
Another thing that we need to increase our endurance is patience. We live in a world that wants everything now, but really they wanted it ALL yesterday. As Christians looking to His will, that may mean we need to make a different choice than the world. ‘But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.’ Matthew 10:32-33 (NKJV). If having whatever you want NOW distracts you from seeking God first, then you must learn to be patient for endurance to come. Ask yourself these questions: Is whether I get this now or later going to make any difference on the day of judgement? How will getting this now glorify God? How will God be honored if I practice patience in this decision? Sometimes it is just spiritually heathy to practice patience. ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such there is no law.’ Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
Finally endurance requires never, ever quitting. Ralph Waldo Emmerson once said, ‘Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising up every time we fall’. Life is going to provide us plenty of opportunities for falling. It is what we do with those opportunities that create endurance, or not. There is only one perfect one and that is not you or I. In my life, imperfections help me to realize how reliant on Christ I must be. God basically promised us that we will sin (John 3:23) it is what we do with that sin that creates endurance. Do we wallow in it, beat ourselves up, talk about how we are such a failure and will never make it to heaven OR do we pull ourselves up by our boots straps, repent, pray fervently, and go on doing better today than we did yesterday. Believe it or not, the latter is much more effective for spiritual growth. We see both responses in Jesus small group of apostles. There was Judas and Peter. Both responded to sin in their lives in a different manner. So which are you? Judas? Or Peter?
There are probably many other facets to endurance. These are just three: Working hard to do things that are often difficult, being patient in life and never, ever quitting, no matter what. Let us all keep our eyes on the goal…HEAVEN.
In Christian Love, Suzie