<<staying power>>

The ability and fortitude to withstand stress, pain, suffering or hardship.

The desirable quality of endurance (persisting and staying the course) is a repeating theme in the Bible: Jesus said, "those who stand firm to the end will be saved...gain life" (Mk 13:13; Lk 21:19). Perseverance produces rewards – those who endure to the end are saved although the endurance does not bring salvation – it is only the blood of Christ does that (Mt 24:13). Faithfully keeping going through tough times as well as easy times indicates you are truly devoted to Christ and through the steadfast allegiance will be saved. Discouragement and persecution are some of the obstacles that will present themselves, suggesting you give up or at least reduce your level of devotion to Christ when trying, harsh situations arise. During relatively trouble-free times, it is easy to drop your guard and coast along in your own ability. Not only in regards to faith, but also in our divine assignment, we need to be firmly convinced that the path we are on is the right one and continue resolutely, yet remaining open to input from mature Godly believers (Isa 30:21; 2 Tim 1:12; Jas 1:25). Trusting in the surety of the goal and obedience with dedicated endurance secures it, making a dream or desire a reality (Rev 14:12).

The Christian life should never be presented as an easy pathway, ‘Come to Christ and you won’t have any troubles’. This is a false concept – the Christian life is not devoid of intense challenges and conflict in the spiritual realm (2 Cor 10:5; Eph 6:11-18; 2 Thes 1:4; 1 Pet 1:6,7). Paul said, through many trials and tribulations we will enter heaven (Act 14:22). Walking the Christian life is a grind at times,

There is always a cost for what is worthwhile

denying the natural desires of the flesh, running the race marked out for us and bearing our cross (Mt 16:24; Heb 12:1). There is a price to pay for anything of value – sometimes it will literally cost even life itself (Heb 11:35-38; Jas 5:11). Many are the martyrs who have forfeited their lives rather than renounce their salvation. Regardless of the cost in this life be determined to cling to the promises of God, and keep your eyes on the goal (Phil 3:12-14; 2 Tim 2:10; Heb 6:15; Jas 1:12). Jesus, for the joy of seeing fallen humanity redeemed and living rightly, endured the cross (Heb 12:2,3; 1 Pet 2:23,24). In all points He was tempted (including to run from the trials), as we are (Heb 4:15).

Don’t lose heart, when God is giving you an intense training session (Mt 13:21; Jn 6:60-68; Heb 12:5-11). Many give up and backslide because of the spiritual opposition and extended time factors involved.  Relief may be just around the next corner, so why give up

Victory belongs to those endure

now and waste the effort put in thus far. The Bible states there will be spiritual opposition and the need to put on the armour of God so “you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand. Stand firm then…” (Eph 6:13,14).

The reason why God has permitted us to experience these tribulations is to bring about His character in us (these qualities cannot be worked into our lives any other way) and prepare us for the heavenly Kingdom. Hope and the encouragement of Scriptures enables us to endure through testing which builds character in every area of personality and life (Rom 5:3-5, 15:4; 1 Thes 1:3). Most character shaping tests come in the context of close committed fellowship.  Paul said, “When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly” as Christ did (1 Cor 4:12,13).  Stand with and support those who have to endure physical, cultural and financial hardships.

Be determined to keep going regardless of the opposition and temptation to quit, getting back up when knocked down and refuse to deviate from His call. This requires a strong attitude to override our self desires and focus on Christ, not the obstacles. There will be bumps in the road of life but don't let them derail you. These crises of faith, if handled correctly only make us stronger and more resolute. What we allow to dominate our thoughts will empower us.

A key to endurance is to keep our eyes fixed on the goal, with the tenacity to see the job through to completion, rather than the difficulty we are presently encountering. Although life is lived in the ‘now’ we take the long-term approach believing whatever the present

Keep working towards the goal

circumstances are, the ultimate future will be vastly superior if we are living faithfully for Christ (1 Cor 2:9). Such hope enables us to bear bravely the challenges to our faith. “Faith is the sure conviction of the reality of things not seen...Moses persevered because he looked beyond the visible and temporal seeing Him who is invisible” (Heb 11:1,27). The Word of God remains forever, as do the people who do the will of God (1 Pet 1:25; 1 Jn 2:17). What’s done for eternity will last – unfortunately a lot of human efforts are of no lasting significance (Mt 6:19,20; 1 Cor 3:10-15).   Through being strengthened by His power we will have endurance and patience, and its when we have endured and done the will of God that we receive what He has promised (Isa 40:31; Col 1:11; Heb 10:36). When the race is finished, we receive the prize. Paul wrote, “Straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:13,14). We need wholehearted commitment to Jesus Christ and stick-ability regardless of what life throws at us (Act 11:23). Paul said, “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we even despaired of life itself…But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God…” (2 Cor 1:8). Therefore, "Let us not be weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Gal 6:9). To those who endure He will say “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Mt 25:21,23).

See also: character, commitment, determined, effort, faith (crisis of), faithfulness, goals, give up, hope, motive/motivation, patience, persevere, resilience, steadfast, test/testing, trials, waiting.