Keep Going, Baby
'And thus, having patiently endured, he obtained the promise." Hebrews 6:15
Endurance is patience in action. The definition itself means, "the ability of an organism to exert itself and remain active for a long period of time, as well as its ability to resist, withstand, recover from, and have immunity to trauma, wounds, or fatigue."
Throughout scripture you find the constant urging to endure, to be patient, to remain steadfast. Why? Because endurance produces character and character produces hope. Enduring through the challenges and even the "annoying" things in life is for our good. It helps shape our character into something beautiful even if at the moment, our resolve to persevere through something seems pointless or ridiculous. It isn't for nothing. God sees and honors our desire to honor Him by being people who "suffer well", who endure, who do not grow weary in doing good, and who refuse to give up or give less than our best.
Endurance is one more march around the wall when it doesn't even look like it's going to crack. It's one more “no” to conformity and compromise even though it means going against the crowd. It's one more prayer when you don't feel like praying. It's one more time taking the highroad when you'd rather just pick up the offense and burn bridges. It's one more time being a peacemaker, when it seems like it doesn't matter. It's one more time going against the crowd. It's one more time trusting that God's word will stand even when you don't see anything happening in your situation. It's one more time trusting that He is faithful and true. It's one more time choosing to get in Scripture when you're angry rather than lash out and "get even". It's one more lonely night at home, than a random hook up with whomever you find to fill your date card. It's one more time doing the job that nobody else wants to do when everybody else isn’t looking. It's one more time doing the job right even if it means you don't get any credit or praise. One more time behind the scenes, before you get into the limelight. It's one more trip around the field with the sheep and a staff, before you get to the castle with a scepter. It's one more time rejecting an offer that seems "good" while you wait for your “God offer”.
Stay in the race and keep running as best you can. God sees you. He's cheering for you. He's letting you be refined so you can handle the victory with grace. As you choose to endure, rest assured that He is working everything together for your good and his glory, and that at the right time, He will deliver.
Heavenly Father, help me to be a person of endurance in this race you have called me to. Conform my thoughts to yours so that when I face tests, trials, suffering, and even the inconvenient moments in life, I see more clearly how you are using these times to make me more like Jesus, that I may respond in faith and obedience. Teach me to lean into you for strength, to find rest in you when I grow weary, and to trust you even when it seems impossible or too difficult. Help me to desire character over complacency and convenience so that I never shy away from your will. In Jesus name, Amen.
"Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-5
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7
Definition from Wikipedia.com of course ;)