Facing trials in life right now? Like it or not, you’re growing in endurance. And that’s a good thing.
Life can feel so difficult at times. Whether you’re facing major trials like health crises or simple challenges like dealing with the attitude of your pre-teen, nothing seems to go according to plan. And needing to endure the uncomfortable is one of the last things you’d prefer to do.
After all, endurance can seem so un-endurable, can’t it?
Personally, when I’m faced with a challenge, I’d rather skip it and move on to a smoother patch of life. In fact, the thought of sticking things out when I don’t feel like it is the last thing I’d like to do.
But life doesn’t work that way. And really, it would be disappointing if it did. After all, what kind of an adventure would life be without any challenges or conflicts?
Last week, the shiny start to my family’s school year wore off. The excitement my children had vanished and complaining and apathy returned.
Homeschooling is challenging enough, but the bad attitudes seemed like it was more than I could endure.
(Hello! What child doesn’t complain about school work? It certainly isn’t a new occurrence in my house – or any house. So I’m not sure why it bothered me so much.)
But I was reminded that I needed to endure.
Flab, not fab
The good news is that building endurance isn’t bad. In fact, it’s a great thing.
Difficult, yes. But so beneficial.
Without endurance, you and I can easily get flabby.
- If we don’t endure healthy eating choices and fitness habits, our bodies get flabby and weak in a hurry.
- If we don’t endure a housekeeping discipline, our homemaking gets flabby with clutter and dirt.
- If we don’t endure daily spiritual disciplines like time in the Word and prayer, we grow spiritually flabby and our selves begin to demand more control.
- If we don’t endure in a difficult job, the quality of our work can get flabby … and we may find ourselves out of a job.
- If we don’t endure in relationships, our personal growth can get flabby, if not stunted.
Perfection through endurance
The Bible is clear that endurance and perseverance is desirable. James teaches through James 1:2-4:
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
While it may not seem like a comfortable answer, it’s clear that endurance is a by-product of having your faith tested. Endurance is good – in fact, it will bring about its perfect result.
Without trials, we wouldn’t have an opportunity or reason to endure. And we would end up staying just the way we are – incomplete.
Similarly, Paul teaches in Romans 5:3-5:
We also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Again, through trials we learn to endure. That endurance and perseverance builds our character – and our character brings hope. Hope, my friends, does not disappoint.
Useful and fruitful
As yet another reminder to welcome endurance and perseverance, Peter encourages in 2 Peter 1: 4-8:
He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge; and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness; and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I’d love to be useful and fruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wouldn’t you? Because of that, I know I need to be diligent to be faithful, seek moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love.
As a list maker, I love that this list from Peter serves as a good guide of the qualities we should pursue. And I like the way they seem to build on each other – one really can’t exist without the rest.
The precious pearl of perseverance
Because of these promises and the process of perseverance, we should start to welcome opportunities to endure.
It may not be easy, but when we’re tempted to complain – or want to quit – we need to examine our thoughts and see what the issue really is. Is something seriously wrong, or do we just need to learn to deal with our annoyances and endure?
And any wife or mom knows that it’s hard to joyfully endure bad moods in a family. But giving others grace and enduring through the rough times will result it something lovely.
As we choose to endure, remember oysters. Without enduring an ugly, irritating grain of sand, an oyster never would transform it into such a beautiful creation like a pearl.
Just like an oyster’s pearl, the irritation in our lives may turn into beautiful pearls as we endure.
What are you enduring right now? What have you learned through times of endurance?
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