How to Endure

I’ve often said that I’m not a bed of roses preacher. Sometimes the prevailing thought is this – you become a Christian, and man, life is easy! You have purpose! You have a plan; you have a goal. Man, you become a Christian and everything is a piece of cake.

I’ve heard that type of message before in sermons; I’ve seen it in Christian movies, read it Christian books. You get saved and you win the ballgame, everything is awesome!

I don’t know about you, but that’s not always been my experience. Sometimes, in fact, being a Christian seems to make things harder. Listen to what it says in Hebrews 10: 32-36 talking about this:

But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.

hanging_threadWe are reminded in this text that there will be tough times ahead as Christians. They struggled, they suffered, they dealt with many different issues. They had their property taken. They were mocked. They had so many things happen to them.

And they had endurance.

You know why? They remembered their hope. They knew God would be there. They knew they had a greater home. They knew that while there would be tough times ahead; if they just held on, it would be ok.

They knew that God would not forget them. No matter how hard it may seem at times, God would not forget them.

They kept hope. Even when it was hard. Because they had a hope greater than this world.

So, how do we have endurance? How do we endure? Remember your hope. Your hope is not in this world. Your hope is not in fame, or power, or wealth, or popularity, or anything that this world can offer.

You hope is in God. And He will never disappoint. Hope in Him. Believe in Him. Cling to Him.

And we can endure whatever comes our way.

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Giving Up

Sometimes giving up seems like the best option.

Sometimes giving up seems like it is the only thing that we can do. Sometimes the road seems too long. Sometimes the trials seem too deep. Sometimes it seems like it is just not worth the work that lays ahead to finish the race.

Sometimes it seems too hard.

Sometimes the road seems to long.

Sometimes we just dont’ think we can do it.

So, why do it? What’s the point? It’s not like we can finish anyway.

On days when we are tempted to think that way, listen to what we read in Hebrews 12 today:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 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. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.

Remember.  You are surrounded by a mighty cloud of witnesses. There are people who are there for you. People that support you.  People that love you.  People that are on your side.

I know when you are in the midst of a storm, you feel like you are all alone. I know it feels that way. I know it’s tempting to believe.

You are not.  You are not all alone.  You are surrounded by people who love you.  Even if it doesn’t feel that way.  Even if you can’t see it.  You are not alone.

Don’t lose hope.

And, remember one last thing. Remember what Jesus endured.  Remember what He suffered. Remember what He went through.  Remember.

Jesus kept going. He set the example for us. Remember that. Don’t grow weary.

You can do it. Even if you think that it’s impossible. Even if you think it won’t happen, don’t give up. Remember those that surround you that support and cheer for you.

And remember what our Lord endured. Remember His example. And live in His strength.

Keep running today. Don’t give up.

You can do it!