Someone once said that “endurance is patience concentrated.” I like that. Its one of those quotes that makes you think. Being able to endure requires a large amount of patience. When it seems as if everything is working against you, it takes patience to endure, so that we might realize the final victory. It gives credence to the passage in Romans 5:3 that says, “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance.”
We’ve only to look at the life of Christ to see victory through endurance. He was patient to the end because He firmly set His eyes on the prize. He had many opportunities to back away from His calling to die for all of mankind, but He endured to the end.
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (James 1:12-15).
As we see the world around us falling away from God, it takes people with endurance to catch them and bring them back to faith. The lost are longing for purpose and it will take those committed to the truth to give them direction whereby they might find the place God intended them to be all along.
This is no easy task because the devil likes nothing more than when, in frustration, we give up our callings, and he will use every tool in his arsenal to make that happen. But God has promised to provide you with His strength to endure. In Colossians 1:11 we receive His blessing, “May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy.”
When frustrations and temptations hit, it is good for us to remember that all of God’s might is behind us. God through Paul urges us to “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12). With God at our side, anything is possible, so we must endure to the end knowing that God is with us.
Endurance is necessary in the Christian life because every Christian lives in a world that doesn’t play by the same rules. Hebrews 10:36 reminds us of this saying, “For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.” The things that God calls for us to do often are in stark opposition to the world’s desire for us and it takes a strong will mixed with patience towards righteousness to see it through.
God tells us through Paul in His letter to the Corinthians, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Sometimes this is made hard to believe when temptations hit. The devil whispers in our ears and seeks to make God’s words seem unachievable. But the steadfast in faith can overcome any obstacle with God’s strength.
Many times, throughout Scripture, God has warned us that our life here on earth will be a challenge, especially if we hold up His Word as truth. Even the Pharisees of Jesus’ time could not allow themselves to follow Him through His Son. But we need not make the same mistake.
Everything we need to endure the worlds blows has been given us so that we might persevere to the end when we will finally realize the goal of eternal life. Despite our wrong-doing, God continues to shower us with his mercy and grace through forgiveness. Despite our ignorance of Him, He never stops looking for us to come back to Him.
If we are to endure, we must trust in the one true God to guide us. We must remain persistent, with our eyes set like flint on the goal. We must look to the example of Jesus who, though He was persecuted, ridiculed, whipped and hung on a cross, still fulfilled what He had been sent to do, despite the shame. Our motto in life should mirror Philippians 4:13 which says, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, thank you for providing everything we need to endure this life so that we might live in eternity with You. Forgive us for those times we have given up the fight. Be our strength and guidance in all things. Amen.