What is endurance?
Endurance is defined as the ability to withstand hardship or adversity; especially the ability to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity. (Miriam Webster)
We can therefore say, patient endurance is the ability to withstand adversity for a long period of time with a good attitude. You can endure without being patient. But the Bible encourages and calls us not just to endure, but to endure patiently.
We also see that hardship and suffering are synonymous with endurance. We cannot have one without the other. We cannot be people of great patient endurance without going through difficulties. It is in difficulties that endurance is birthed in a believer.
Why is endurance important in the life of a believer?
It enables us to do God’s will and receive God’s promises for us.
We endure patiently in doing God’s will to be able to receive and enjoy fully the promises of God. Therefore, patient endurance is a prerequisite to receiving God’s promises for our lives.
So that you will not be [ spiritually] sluggish, but [will instead be]imitators of those who through faith[ lean on God with absolute trust and confidence in Him and in His power] and by patient endurance [ even when suffering] are [ now] inheriting the promises. Hebrews 6:12 AMP
We are exhorted to not be sluggish in our faith, but to imitate all those who have through faith and patient endurance, gone after inheriting what has been promised to them and were able to receive it.
We imitate Abraham in his endurance. And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise. Hebrews 6:15 NRSV
Endurance produces character in us.
Not only so, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance character and character produce hope. Romans 5:3-4
We don’t become people of Godly character by accident. It’s through intentional going through suffering; knowing that our suffering is producing endurance in us. And as we develop endurance we become people of character.
We are perfected through endurance.
Be assured that the testing of your faith [ through experience leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [ in your faith], lacking in nothing. James 1:3-4
James echoes Romans 5:3-4, he reminds us that whenever our faith is tested there is a purpose because God is looking to perfect us. And if we will allow endurance to do its work in us, we will find that we will become fully furnished in God, and in our faith.
Endurance here is a worker in God’s hands producing perfection and completeness in us. So, whenever we find ourselves in trials and hardships that call for endurance, we must know God is actually furnishing us so we can be people who no longer walk and live in lack.
Something happens when we are no longer bothered by trials. We get to a place where we know we have everything we need in God. I believe this is what James is talking about. When we no longer see our trials as God denying us something( or God putting us through something) but rather as a way of God giving us everything we need in Him. We become people of great patience and who lack nothing.
We see our trials differently when we understand that God is actually giving us in trials rather than holding out on us. He is giving us what we cannot get in any other way, spiritual maturity in Him.
Endurance should be a deliberate pursuit for believers.
But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. 1 Timothy 6:11
Paul tells Timothy that he should be pursuing endurance in His walk with God. Meaning that we should ask God to put us in circumstances that produce endurance in us, not run away from them. It’s something we have to be intentional about pursuing.
As we pursue righteousness, love, and faith, we are to also be in pursuit of patient endurance.
We supply our faith with patient endurance.
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance… 2 Peter 1:5-6 NLT
Why is it important to supplement our faith with patient endurance? Because patient endurance is one of the qualities that will keep us from being unproductive and ineffective in our knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 peter 1:8
Peter is telling us it’s not enough that we have faith. Our faith has to be added unto if it is going to be of any good in this life. We have to continuously be growing in all these qualities, patient endurance being one of them.
Patient endurance is something God gives to us.
Now may the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had. Romans 15:5
It’s not something we get or produce in our own power, it’s something that is supplied to us by God.
God directs our hearts into endurance.
May the Lord lead your hearts into the full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ. 2 Thessalonians 3:5 NLT
We are able to endure because He leads us into it and helps us attain it in Christ.
We pray that being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience. Colossians 1:11
We are able to have great patience and endurance because He has strengthened us with His power.
May we truly be people of great patient endurance! And may we through the Holy Spirit understand why it’s important in our walk with God.
Have a blessed weekend people, full of patience and endurance in whatever circumstances we might find ourselves in!