There are times in our life when we face battles and we are called to endure. However, from my own experience in personal trials, the battle to endure doesn’t come easy. It is something that is learned. Endurance is the battle we need to win as children of God if we are to withstand the fiery darts of the enemy.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes the word endure as this: to remain firm under suffering or misfortune without yielding. To endure means to never give up, to continue standing without wavering.
Job is a fine example of enduring while under suffering. Job was righteous before God, but God allowed him to suffer. Job had it all, he was very wealthy but he was also a God-fearing man. Job 1:1-5. Although Job lost all he had including his health, loved ones and his possessions; he upheld his integrity and did not renounce God. Job 2:1-3.
Satan attacked Job with everything he had and God allowed it because he wanted to test Jobs character. Satan wanted to prove to God that Job would turn away from Him if Satan took away his blessings. Job 2:5. So Job was under attack big time!
How did Job endure these horrendous life- changing assaults that he faced from Satan? In spite of everything, Job didn’t accuse God nor did he sin against God during his trials. His faith was intact. Job said “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21-22.
Job still worshipped God in his time of tribulation. Job 1:20 “Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshipped.”
Job also prayed Job 10:5-7. “Are your days as the days of man, or your years as a man’s years, that you seek out my iniquity and search for my sin, although you know that I am not guilty, and there is none to deliver out of your hand?”
He confessed God’s glory with his mouth to build his faith Job 19:25-27. “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!”
Through his hardship, Job learnt how to endure and the Lord had mercy on Job and restored all his blessings. Job 42:12-17.
Sometimes God doesn’t deliver us from our suffering because he wants to test our faith and teach us something in the suffering. Romans 5:3-4 gives us some insight into why endurance in suffering is necessary. “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope”
Endurance pops up a lot in scripture, God wants to teach us that endurance is going to be needed if we are going to be a mighty warrior of God. Endurance is the key ingredient to living a righteous life before God.
John 15:16 says “You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed and placed and purposefully planted you, so that you would go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit will remain and be lasting, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name [as My representative] He may give to you.” So how does one achieve fruit that will last? The answer to that is through endurance.
We cannot endure through our fleshly human ability. It’s just not possible. But we can endure with supernatural power that the Holy Spirit bestows upon us if we are willing to receive it. Col 1:11 “being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy”
Being steadfast through suffering can be difficult and God understands this. His son Jesus Christ was God incarnated in the flesh. If anyone knew about suffering, it was Jesus. Jesus is a fine example of enduring the storms when the seas get rough and knock us off our feet.
When Jesus was arrested in the book of Mark and betrayed by His disciple Judas, he had to withstand beatings, humiliation and being spat on. Mark 14:65, Mark 15:1. To add to this, Jesus’ disciples deserted Him when Jesus needed them most. Mark 14:50. Jesus must have felt completely alone. Bear in mind, He was human, so He felt human emotions.
When Jesus was crucified He cried out to His Father “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? Which is “My God, My God, why have you abandoned Me.” Mark 15:34.
Through all this, Jesus was obedient to His Father and He understood that to save mankind from their sins, He would have to endure the cross and some pretty horrific torture. Mark 15:24, Mark 15:19-20.
If Jesus didn’t withstand what He did, there would be no resurrection. Mark 16:6. Without the resurrection, it would be hopeless and we would have no salvation into heaven. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus has taught us how to endure through trials and adversity.
We grow and become stronger when we endure under suffering. Our spiritual muscles are strengthened when we go through our battles. Jesus has overcome the world for our benefit. John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”