Endurance is a key indicator of spiritual fitness.
There is no retirement in God’s work.
The road is rugged, and the sun is hot. How can we be but weary? Here is grace for the weariness – grace which lifts us up and invigorates us; grace which keeps us from fainting by the way; grace which supplies us with manna from heaven, and with water from the smitten rock. We receive of this grace, and are revived. Our weariness of heart and limb departs. We need no other refreshment. This is enough. Whatever the way be – rough, gloomy, unpleasant – we press forward, knowing that the same grace that has already carried thousands through will do the same for us.
The road to the Kingdom is not so pleasant, and comfortable, and easy, and flowery, as many dream. It is not a bright sunny avenue of palms. It is not paved with triumph, though it is to end in victory. The termination is glory, honor, and immortality; but on the way, there is the thorn in the flesh, the sackcloth, and the cross. Recompense later; but labor here! Rest later; but weariness here! Joy and security later; but here endurance and watchfulness – the race, the battle, the burden, the stumbling block, and oftentimes the heavy heart.
God uses the encouragement of the Scriptures, the hope of our ultimate salvation in glory, and the trials that He either sends or allows to produce endurance and perseverance.
In His infinite wisdom, God allows trials in order to develop perseverance in us and to cause us to fix our hopes on the glory that is yet to be revealed… Our faith and perseverance can grow only under the pain of trial.
Any training – physical, mental, or spiritual – is characterized at first by failure. We fail more often than we succeed. But if we persevere, we gradually see progress till we are succeeding more often than failing. This is true as we seek to put to death particular sins. At first it seems we are making no progress, so we become discouraged and think, What’s the use?! I can never overcome that sin. That is exactly what Satan wants us to think. It is at this point that we must exercise perseverance. We keep wanting instant success, but holiness doesn’t come that way. Our sinful habits are not broken overnight. Follow-through is required to make any change in our lives, and follow-through requires perseverance.
Christian patience is an active thing. It conveys the idea of positive endurance rather than quiet acceptance.
It is possible to endure in this life but to do it in a self-righteous, resentful survivor-spirit that is self-pitying and angry at those who do not shoulder the burden with you while being inwardly proud of your grit. Instead of the fruit of the Spirit, there is bitterness and joylessness. In truth, God may not consider this kind of life to be one of endurance, and certainly not one of “great endurance” (2 Cor. 6:4). Paul endured with the inner graces of the Spirit. Sweet endurance is what the Scripture here enjoins… Sweet in-Spirited endurance testiﬁes to the reality of Christ and that He is worth our trust and service.
Wimpy worldviews make wimpy Christians. And wimpy Christians won’t survive the days ahead.
Endurance is the ability to weather a trial without resorting to sinful means of deliverance.
Between the many opportunities in a lifetime to distrust God during trials or doubt God during persecution or desert God during worldly temptations, our journey with Christ is an ongoing fight that needs to go all 12 rounds.
Faith-healing is grand, but faith-enduring is grander.
Many times great difficulties precede special works of God. You can even say that God wins His greatest victories in the midst of apparent defeat. This can be clearly demonstrated in the life of our Lord on earth. When Jesus was crucified and placed in the tomb, it looked like the forces of unrighteousness had triumphed. However, it was in this time of apparent defeat that our victory for our salvation was won. This time of apparent defeat was followed by the resurrection of Christ.
The race is not always to the swift but to him who keeps on running.
Trials are the crucible in which perseverance is forged.
It is the Holy Spirit who is causing you to persevere. In those times when you are lazy and have no enthusiasm for any Spiritual Discipline, or when you haven’t practiced a particular Discipline as you habitually do, it is the Holy Spirit who prompts you to pick it up in spite of your feelings. Left to yourself you would have forsaken these means of sustaining grace long ago, but the Holy Spirit preserves you by granting to you the grace to persevere in them.