First Word – Endure

The Word I have felt impressed upon me for this New Year of 2022 is the Word Endure!

The dictionary meaning of Endurance = the ability to continue with an unpleasant or difficult situation, experience or activity over a long period of time.

So endurance is the keeping on going, the getting to the finishing line, no matter the hardships or obstacles along the way!

Now I am no endurance athlete and infact would rather have a soft, easy, cushy life, but the Christian life is not an easy life, we are called into the battle of the war for our souls and we are called to endure, to keep on till the end.

This is the aspect of this word Endure which is impressed upon me, it is not the enduring of our physical, daily hardships, the ups and downs and trials of life, but rather the spiritual hardship, being faithful spiritually, keeping on trusting even when our situations are screaming out for us to question God and His plans.

This passage in Matthew’s gospel shows us that in the last days we will be required to keep on holding on, to endure:

Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers .  And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other.  And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold But the one who endures to the end will be saved.  And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.

Matthew 24:9-14

Our faith is going to be called into question, our trust is going to be tested, we will be called to stand up, be different, and keep on believing, keep on trusting, keep on holding on, keep on being faithful, keep on praying, keep on reading, keep on keeping on – Endure.

When life seems full of hard knocks, unexpected challenges and sorrows of the heart there is so often then a battle in our hearts and minds to keep on believing that God is good and that He is good to us. So easy to give up and give in to the questions and doubts of our minds, but as we endure and press on through those questions and doubts we can come to a place of trust, a place of surrender and be given the strength and grace to keep on going and endure.

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

Hebrews 12:2

So will you join me as we endure through to the end in the battle for our faith, as we endure in the battle of facts over feelings, truth over lies, as we endure in the battle over giving into weariness, as we endure through the battle for our hearts & minds to be set on Jesus, as we endure through in the battle for our souls?

Will you join me in championing each other, encouraging each other towards the finish line, enduring to the end?

I pray for each one of us this year, dear friends, that we will endure, that we will not give up, that we will not give in, but rather press on, press through, keeping our eyes on Jesus.

Endure

The Word For The Day — “…weeping may endure for a night, but joy ...

This post is written to link with #Five Minute Friday: write for five minutes on a one-word prompt. The prompt today is “ENDURE”.

To endure = to bear without resistance or with patience.

And there my dear friends is my problem! I don’t seem to be able to bear with patience or without resistance! My first instinct at the first sign of trouble, pain or suffering is always resistance! I don’t want this trouble in my life, I want it out, finished with, never to return. I don’t want to endure hardship, I would much rather have an easy life, so I don’t endure with patience, I fret, I worry, I am cranky, I berate God with ‘why me’!

I have yet to learn grace to endure with patience, grace to bear without resistance.

Despite the fact God has taught me again and again about acceptance and surrender, it doesn’t seem to come easy for me; there is always an initial resistance.

I envy those who seem to bear with great patience the many sorrows of life, those who seem to accept both the good and bad things that come with the same grace and equanimity.

I long to grow in that grace, grace which endures, grace to rejoice in the enduring, grace to accept, grace to surrender without the struggle, without the resistance,

“Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” (Job 2:10)