Endurance is perhaps not a word you would like to hear. It implies hard work, doesn’t it? According to the dictionary, endurance means the capacity of something to last or to withstand wear and tear. It also means the ability or strength to continue despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions.
Do you feel a little worn out, fatigued, stressed or are you facing adverse conditions? Do you feel that you can’t withstand them for much longer? The Bible tells us that we need endurance! I couldn’t find a verse for us that said that once we became a Christian we would have an easy life. My search also didn’t lead me to a verse that said that we can try for a little while and then give up. What I did fine, however, was some really tough guidance!
For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
In a nutshell, what the Bible tells me is that I need endurance and in order to get endurance I need to rejoice in my sufferings. To top it all off, I also need to endure temptation so that I can be approved! So why is endurance so important? What happens if I don’t bother to get endurance? Read Hebrews 12, it’s all about running the race and enduring to the end so that we may receive the prize. If we don’t endure we get nothing. There is no prize for not running at all or for giving up half way. We must be women who endure until the end, no matter what that means.
Whilst out running one morning, I became discouraged because I was tired and thirsty. I had intentionally left my water bottle in my car to motivate myself by leaving my ‘reward’ at the finish line. As I ran away from the car, I was annoyed with myself for doing that and almost turned around to run back to the car. Endurance popped into my mind. I realised that I needed to suffer a little so that I could build up my ability to run further.
I realised that more often than not I stopped running at the first sign of tiredness, which meant I wasn’t able to run very far. In order to run further I needed to build up my endurance, which meant forcing myself to continue even though my body suffered. Doing this gave me pleasure, as I loved the results – a fitter, stronger and healthier me. My spiritual life followed a similar pattern. If I wanted to become the woman that I desired to become, I needed to build up my endurance. I had to be able to withstand some wear and tear. It also meant that I needed to grow stronger despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions.
Too often, we pray for God to take away the things that cause us stress and fatigue. We complain about the wear and tear on our bodies and our souls. The big question though, is do we ever thank God for our struggles and ask Him to help us develop endurance? I don’t think many people do and without realising it, they lose out.
When I went for my run in the morning, I did suffer but each time my endurance grew. Each time I felt better about my athletic ability and myself. It was a very rewarding experience and looking back, I am so glad I started on that journey. If I had never started running, I would never have known the joy of running and I would never have experienced all the benefits of running either. It’s the same with our Christian walk. Avoiding certain things doesn’t do anything except rob us of the joy or being able to endure them and also the benefits of having gained the endurance. Developing endurance means that you will cope better with life so it does actually mean your life gets easier. Not facing things and complaining about how hard things are only keeps you in a place of suffering. If we truly want to be free women, we need to develop some endurance. Yes, life can be hard but endurance is what brings joy not removing the hardships.
What things are you finding difficult right now that you know you need to build endurance in?
The Being a Woman book and worksheets are available here.