Wednesday, August 25, 2010

THE PRESENT GENERATION KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT ENDURANCE

To endure means “to carry through despite hardships; to suffer patiently without giving up.” In short, it means to hold on or hold out. But this word means little to the present generation. Many Christians today are quitters—they quit on their spouses, their families and their God.

Peter addresses this subject by saying, “This is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully” (1 Peter 2:19). Then he adds, “What glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls” (1 Peter 2:20–23).

The apostle Paul commands, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3). Finally, the Lord himself gives us this promise: “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13).

I ask you—what is your hardship? Is your marriage in turmoil? Is your job in crisis? Do you have a conflict with a relative, a landlord, a friend who has betrayed you?

We are to take hope. You see, just as Paul’s suffering never let up, neither did his revelation, his maturity, his deep faith, his settled peace. He said, “If I’m going to be a spiritual man—if I really want to please my Lord—then I can’t fight my circumstances. I’m going to hold on and never quit. Nothing on this earth can give me what I get from God’s Spirit every day in my trial. He’s making me a spiritual man.”

Paul’s life “breathed” with the Spirit of Christ. And so it is with every truly spiritual person. The Holy Ghost pours forth out of that servant’s inner being the heavenly breezes of God. This person isn’t downcast; he doesn’t murmur or complain about his lot. He may be going through the trial of his life, but he’s still smiling—because he knows God is at work in him, revealing his eternal glory.