1 Corinthians 13:7 – “Love…endures through every circumstance.”
Endurance is not initially fun to build up. It is exhausting to grow in endurance as a runner, a swimmer, or in a new night shift for work. However, if you stick with it and you don’t give up, there comes a breakthrough where your body adjusts and you handle new disciplines well. It is easy to start something new, but to stick with it you need to focus on rewards to get through the hard times that are going to come along the way and tempt you to give up.
The New Testament word for endurance is ‘hupomone.’ It is a word that speaks to ‘remaining under’ the calling and authority of Christ when it is tempting to come out from under His rule because of the cost. Hebrews 12:2 reminds us that Jesus himself endured the cross for the joy set before Him. Jesus stayed focused on His Father in heaven and the eternal joy that would come from expanding the family of God to be able to remain under the temporary suffering of the cross.
To no longer be conformed to this world, we must renew our minds by the Word of God (Rom. 12:1-2). Staying put in our relationship to others can be very painful at times. The Holy Spirit wants to fill our hearts with God’s love to where we can make decisions out of love for others instead of out of love for self. The joy we must work with Christ to daily set before us, is that God will reward us when we do the right thing, remaining under Christlikeness, regardless of what others do to us. Like running, swimming or taking up a new shift at work, it’s going to take us time to grow into faithfully going high when others go low. However, if we stick with it, confessing our sins along the way, we can grow more and more consistent by the grace Jesus affords.
Heavenly Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, help us to grow our endurance in daily picking up our cross for you. We pray 1 Cor. 15:58 over our lives: ‘be firm, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, knowing that our labor is not in vain in the Lord.’ Thank you Jesus! Amen.