Endurance is one of those things that is both hard to talk about and even harder to experience but it’s such a vital part of any faith and life journey. Without endurance many of our favorite athletes would just be names without a vision or purpose attached to what they are supposed to do and the lives that they are supposed to touch. Even more so, would we even know their names or their stories if they had just given up when things got rough?
If Lebron gave up when things were tough going for the Heat he would not have been able to assist the Heat in becoming NBA champs in 2012 and 2013 and bring a championship home to his home state in 2016. If Walt Disney had given up on himself and his dreams and allowed what he didn’t see to discourage him and keep him from going we wouldn’t have one of the greatest and most magical theme parks known to man to date. But the greatest champion of them all, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ would never have been able to defeat death,sin, sickness, hell, and the cross if he had allowed defeat to overtake him and lose sight of the greatest victories that were yet to be won. Even more so, he would have missed out on an opportunity for a people he never met to experience the greatest love that they would ever know and the greatest testimony of all time that spans generations, nations, and time.
If I can be very transparent, my own level of endurance has truly been under attack these past couple of weeks. I know that God is able to do any and everything because he has shown himself to be faithful and good in my life many times over. But each time we are growing in faith we are getting a new and more in-depth chance to trust God like we have never trusted him before. And in trusting God we are ABSOLUTELY NOT trusting ourselves in anyway, shape, or form. And to be honest as a recovering control freak that is downright scary sometimes. But God has shown me he will never leave me or forsake me and that if I let go I can fall right into his loving and caring arms and protection. I may not know what’s next BUT I can take comfort in the fact that he does and if I just put one foot right in front of the other and continue trusting HIM he will direct my paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
I have been there where I have cried tears, felt a pain so deep in my heart, and have been hanging on to dear life by a mere thread and have just wanted to give up because what I was experiencing FELT EXTREMELY HARD AND UNBEARABLE. But at my very brink, God always imparted an extra burst of strength into my spirit and the wisdom and desire to keep going and start praying and fasting even harder to combat the attacks of the enemy on my mindset and my spirit. I know for sure that 2 Corinthians 12:9 came to life for me in those moments but I cried out for strength because I felt so weak and God’s grace truly became sufficient for me.
God also showed me that the enemy was coming for me because I was so committed to living for him and continuing to trust in HIM and walk by faith. When you’re trusting and believing in God and enduring through various circumstances it tries your faith but it also can be the opportunity for you to know what or who your faith is in. The enemy would desire to weaken your resolve, steal your joy, put a damper on your faith, and overall keep you from fulfilling your God given purpose and touching the lives God intended for you to touch. But it’s so important to continue enduring, pressing forward, and taking away quitting as even an option. The only option is to TRUST GOD and push FORWARD. You have to get to the point where you laugh at failure and defeat and resolve that no matter what you are going to push through despite what it might look, feel, or seem like and push forward.
I am so encouraged by these two scriptures:
1 Corinthian 9:24 ESV
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.
2 Timothy 4:7 KJV
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.
Surround yourself with positive community, friends, family and loved ones who are not going to allow you to give up on yourself or God, don’t give into those negative feelings or thoughts and cast them down immediately (2 Corinthians 10:5), worship God like your life depends on it(trust me, it does and he’s so deserving and worthy) and just hang onto your faith. Your faith is only going to grow when it’s been activated or stretched, and it can’t be based off circumstances or situations but rooted in the knowledge of and experience with the God you serve. (Ephesians 3:16-20)
I pray that you stay encouraged, that you don’t give up, that you endure and press forward knowing that you are not alone, that your life has purpose and this walk is so worth it, even when you can’t see or when you can’t quite find your way out, that you be assured with the reassurance that you are victorious through Christ and that both you and your faith will be sustained and God will see you through, cover you, protect you, guide you and provide for you. Be encouraged and hold tight to God’s promises! I am standing in agreement with you! You will be victorious and become even better than before!