To Patiently Endure. They say that patience is a virtue…like what does that even mean? I wonder sometimes when my patience has become as thin as ice. Or times when it feels as if one more thing could make you lose all of your God-given marbles.
I feel as if I’ve been in a season of “patience” the last 15-20+ years. Or maybe just as long as I’ve been alive, but who’s counting, right?
Learning patience. Exercising patience. Teaching patience. And patiently enduring.
Patience. Per dictionary.com, it’s the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
Patience. It’s one of those words that you most likely don’t want to hear. Especially when it comes to obtaining a goal, something of value or even just something that you really are wanting.
And then there’s endurance. Now with this word, you wouldn’t want to hear it when it comes to any type of pain, discomfort or suffering.
But both patience and endurance are often used in the Bible. And both become part of our journey with the Lord, as we seek the life that God intends for us to live.
Enduring means lasting. It means to persist. Or to suffer firmly or patiently. While endurance speaks to duration and our ability to withstand hardship or stress. Our very fortitude.
So, how does one build endurance?
In the natural, when working out, we do so by working out a little at a time. Then adding upon the progress until we progress to our goals.
I remember doing a “Couch to 5k” years ago using an app on my phone. Day 1 starts out with a brisk walk for a few minutes then a light jog for another few minutes. Alternating between the two. Then as each day goes on, the walking segments become shorter as the jogging segments become longer…building endurance for jogging longer lengths. At the end, I was able to run a 5k without walking. Because I had built up my endurance to do so.
Spiritually what does growth in endurance look like?
James 1:3 NLT says “And the Bible says “For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.”
So our faith is tested to grow our endurance.
“So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:4 NLT
Often with tests, there are challenges. There is discomfort. But spiritually, it is all working towards a goal. Remember Romans 8:28? “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.“
Because our ability to withstand hardships cannot grow if we do not have hardships. But don’t you just wish we could skip over “the process”. Wish you could “by pass” the pain, the tests and the trials?
I mean, I really just wish that we could learn all that we needed to learn without having to go through some of the “hard” things in order to obtain the knowledge of the lesson.
And this reminds me again of working out. We most often want the benefits that a well balanced diet and exercise brings. But wish that we could skip the process of getting there.
When we want to lose weight fast, we look for ‘jump start’ workouts or fad diets that yield quick results. Yet most often not yielding lasting results.
When we want to get somewhere quickly, we seek out the quickest route to getting there, right?
We often times try the same with our spiritual life, but it does not work that way. It is indeed a journey. One that involves patience and endurance.
But God says he “blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12 NLT
This is what it means to patiently endure. It is to not grow weary.
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.“ Galatians 6:9 KJV
When we patiently endure, we reap a harvest of blessings from the Lord. Based on James 1:4, we become perfect and complete and lacking nothing. From James 1:12, we are given the crown of life that God has promised.
And this is most definitely where we want to be in the Lord. But first we must patiently endure. And run the race which is set before us.
*This post was originally published on the authors blog here!*
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