Things Christians Need to Talk About: Endurance
We live in an age where convenience is key. Fast Food, microwave ovens, frozen dinners, streaming whatever you want on TV, as well as a world of games, information, and various modes of entertaining ourselves within most of the mobile devices we carry on us. Our desire for instant gratification has become mixed up as a need. Endurance in hardship isn’t a subject we talk about. If it came down to it, many of us, when difficulties arose, how would we respond? What if, because of your deeply held convictions, your job, home, or car was at stake? What would you do? Many Christians, and I think justifiably so, are terrified of these questions, but what if this great unknown we’re so terrified of is exactly what we’re called to?
In scripture, I see the affirmations “stand firm,” “endure,” “continue” repeated continually. We’re told they will come for our lives, beat us, arrest us, take us before governing bodies. Why wouldn’t they come for our jobs, homes, and conveniences as well? Brothers and sisters, even here in North America, are making such stands. They ARE arresting them, beating them, taking properties, and even killing them. All for following the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And I see people who call themselves Christians justifying such things with empty phrases such as “if they just conformed,” “If they just did what they were told,” and the like. Yet, what occurs in such circumstances? The Gospel is advanced! People come to Jesus! Christians cast off this life and embrace the next (whether they go there soon or not is an occurrence from country to country), and others see and give glory to God.
We need to talk about endurance, and endurance comes from facing trials and tribulations. Endurance comes when our faith is tested, and we cling to Jesus. This world IS against Christians, but the rightful King is returning. We have to just wait for His day with patience and longsuffering, and endure to the end, whatever that may mean. Stand firm. What you lose in this life is nothing compared with WHO you gain in the next! James 1:2-18 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.