We all face hard times in our lives, there is no way around it, they come to us and we have a choice: despair, or endure it.
1. the fact or power of enduring or bearing pain, hardships, etc.
2. the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina: He has amazing physical endurance.
3. lasting quality; duration: His friendships have little endurance.
4. something endured, as a hardship; trial.
What is missing from this definition? For the Christian it is faith in God. Romans 5:15 says “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had.” We should find that endurance is participation in the mind of Christ. There are numerous times on this blog where I have written about grace and hardship, yet endurance is one of the most important aspects of the Christian life. If we do not endure then grace is useless to us. Grace if often the gift of endurance.
Everyone of you bears some burden in life that requires endurance, the musicians of the Louisville Orchestra are having to endure absurdly unfair treatment at the hands of management, the martyrs around the world endure their suffering, the pain of the lonely, the dying, the bedridden, all must endure something. Endurance is part of being human, we cannot escape it, nor should we try to escape it. That old saw about endurance builds character is almost in insult for endurance is something to be endured not a character building exercise.
Endurance can be made easier if we do one simple thing — help someone else to endure. Yes, it’s that simple, reach out to someone who is enduring and help them bear that burden. Not only will you show your faith as a living faith, but you will also find the very act of helping another will ease your own endurance.
The Gospel of Luke is full of compassion, indeed, we might say it is the most compassionate of all the Gospels. If you don’t believe me crack the binding on that bible of yours and read it for yourself. I leave you today with a bit of 2 Timothy.
You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 2:10-17