When life gets hard, we may react by asking, “Why me?”
Another common reaction is, “Rescue me, Lord! Save me from the circumstances and the pain!”
Still another reaction may be, “When will my life be normal again?”
Then, there’s, “How long must I endure?”
Endurance means standing through adversity without losing hope in God, having the ability to patiently wait through the stressful circumstances or activity until relief comes or our goal is reached, and obediently following God when it is tough to do it.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3
I painted a horse’s face as I created this picture, but it can no longer be seen. It is covered by colors that represent the glory of God.
It is in times of prolonged stress that we need to recognize that we have died to this life and Christ is our hiding place. We can go to Him to find the strength we need to endure whatever comes. In Him we find our life.
May the Lord lead you into a greater understanding of God’s love and the endurance that is given by Christ. 2Thessalonians 3:5.
Notice that the apostle Paul not only is asking God to lead us into understanding God’s love, but also to be led to the endurance that is given to us by Jesus.
When I was going through a very difficult trial God gave me a word to help me understand the purpose of my suffering. This word came with power to help me endure. He assured me,
“I will provide everything you need to be
who I’ve called you to be and do.”
There is a purpose to endurance. It will yield God’s approval and His approval will give us hope. We will not be disappointed because God’s love is poured out into our hearts by Holy Spirit. See Romans 5:3-5. It is important that we endure and not give up because God’s work in us as we endure will make us complete and whole. See James 1:2-4.
God’s approval is not automatic. Just like you may love your child regardless of what he does, you will give your approval when he obeys you and does what is good.
In the Book of Revelation seven churches are each given a message from Jesus. All of them are encouraged to win the victory in order to receive valuable prizes. Five of the churches have serious problems, and the sinners are called to repent and turn from their sins.
Two churches are not chastised.
The church in Smyrna is told they are about to suffer because the devil will test them. Some will go to prison. They are called to endure this trial. Jesus tells them to remain faithful to him even if it means they will die. They will receive life as their victory prize. See Revelation 2:8-11.
Another church at Philadelphia (see Revelation 3:7-13) is told that since they have kept his commandment to endure, He will keep them safe from the time of testing that the world will experience (see Revelation 3:10). They must keep what they had safe so they won’t be robbed of their victory prize.
What did they have? They were faithful to Jesus and followed his teaching.
They faithfully endured.
God’s fury will be poured out on those who worship the beast. But God’s people are called to endure, to remain faithful, and to obey God’s commandments. See Revelation 14:9-12.
The Scriptures will teach us and encourage us. God is our source and He will enable us to be patient. See Romans 15:4-6.
Let us always remember that we have been rescued out of the power of darkness and brought safely into Christ’s Kingdom, where we are forgiven.
We ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will, with all the wisdom and understanding that his Spirit gives. Then you will be able to live as the Lord wants and will always do what pleases him. Your lives will produce all kinds of good deeds, and you will grow in your knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength which comes from his glorious power, so that you may be able too endure everything with patience. And with joy give thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to have your share of what God has reserved for his people in the kingdom of light. He rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us safe into the kingdom of his dear son, by whom we are set free, that is, our sins are forgiven. Colossians 1:9-14.
Scripture quotations are taken from the GOOD NEWS TRANSLATION, SECOND EDITION, Copyright©1992 by American Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.