Endurance Can Speak Volumes About Faith

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My stomach didn’t feel right. It wasn’t long afterwards that something I caught or ate fully manifested itself. The worst of it gradually subsided over the next four days. However, new symptoms appeared. I was very hungry. I was tired of being lethargic. I longed for the motivation to accomplish something on my to-do list. I was bored of daytime television. Plain and simple, I was grumpy!

I knew this detour of sickness would be short-lived and minor in the big picture of my life. Why is it so hard to endure when I am in the midst of troubling circumstances? Why do I struggle to gracefully handle a couple of bad days?

I want to be one that rises to the occasion and follows the examples shared in the Bible of how to endure suffering. Jesus knew the depths of suffering, punctuated by separation from His Father, yet never sinned. Once Paul had a personal encounter with Jesus, his life became very messy with opportunities seized to glorify God. Endurance can speak volumes about one’s faith.

Maybe you are like me and still learning how to endure joyfully. God uses our circumstances to remind us that He will never leave us nor forsake us. May the experiences we would rather avoid draw us closer to God’s heart.

The following principles have helped me to strive for endurance with patience and joy.

1) Embrace Suffering:

Or perhaps more aptly described: give into it. There are times when we are to put everything else on hold and focus on the suffering in order to rest and heal.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

2) Make the Most of Suffering

Suffering is oftentimes the best platform to share our faith. People are paying attention to your life and want to know the reason for your hope.

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and  respect. (1 Peter 3:15)

3) Pace Yourself

Rely on God’s grace for your good and remove your expectations. We are to desire more of God’s agenda and less of ours.

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)

4) Reach Out to Others

Ask for prayers. We can’t endure in our own strength as life is too hard. Victory comes through our prayers and the prayers of others.

As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. (Exodus 17:11-12)

5) Keep Praising God

Worship fixes our eyes on Him, softens our hearts to receive, and causes joy to well up from deep inside.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

6) Trust God

We don’t have to figure it all out to endure. Rather, we trust that God has it all figured out and is using our circumstances for His good.

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Genesis 50:20)

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Endurance Can Speak Volumes About Faith

  1. Yes so True Debbie, God knows what we will have to endure but He does not plan it for us, nor does He expect us to be happy Clappy in our suffering but to give Thanks because as you shared He is with us and gives us the strength to endure and like with Joseph whatever life brings He works it all for good even if Satan means it for evil.

    Lamentations 3: 33 For God doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the Children of Men.

    Psalm 97:9-11 For thou, Lord, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods. Ye that Love the Lord, hate evil: He preserveth the souls of His Saints; He delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.

    Psalm 107: 8 – 9 Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the Children of Men! For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.

    Isaiah 43:1-3 – Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.”

    Jeremiah 29 :11-12 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

    Psalm 121:1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made Heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: He that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

    John 10:7-11 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good Shepherd: the good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.

    James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of Lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

    Jesus was known as a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief and He did not consider it a weakness to cry. He also was conceived by The Holy Ghost so not having the seed of Adam and being One in The Godhead with The Father too, He could not sin or choose to sin, this is why He could be the Sacrificial Lamb and our Redeemer, yes He was without blemish even though He was tempted as we are but of course when He carried our sin on the cross He was separated from The Father and this He knew would happen and it grieved Him greatly and yet He still said to the Father; “Not my will but yours be done.”

    “Christ”ian Love Always – Anne.

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    • All wonderful verses helping us to understand that God can bring beauty out of ashes! Isaiah 61:3, “And provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.”

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  2. While I cannot say that I embrace suffering, I can for sure say that it is in my times of suffering that God has felt closest to me, has made me unique promises, and shown up with nothing short of miraculous answers to situations where I didn’t see any answers on my own. There is comfort in reflecting on Him during those trying times. In fact, I remember how He showed up more than I remember the pain. An encouragement for whatever we may have to face in life.

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    • Donna, you hit on a key principle of always trusting God, especially in the midst of suffering. I remember a cancer survivor telling me, “I wish I was always as close to God as when I was going through the cancer treatments.”

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  3. Suffering can be so challenging. It’s hard when we’re in pain or things are not going well. I often need to remember to be gentle with myself when I am human and not enduring very well.

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