The operational definition of endurance is “the inward strength to withstand stress to accomplish God’s best.” While your physical strength allows you to do heavy lifting and labor for the strenuous tasks you have, your inner strength enables you to keep going when faced with challenges that cannot be overcome by physical might alone. Such hardships may include a prolonged illness, ridicule by friends, the loss of a loved one, or difficulty focusing on a tiresome task. Though sometimes hard to understand, all that God allows has been filtered through His loving hands for your good and His greater purpose. As Job declared, “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10).
The opposite of endurance is giving up. A person gives up when he sees no hope of escaping the difficult circumstances he is going through. He may hang his head in despair or complain as if there are no solutions to his problems. He may burst into tears or become angry because the situation is beyond his control. After trying his best, he is severely exhausted physically and mentally and has little inward strength remaining. At such a point, a lie such as “No one cares!” or “This is not worth it!” seems believable. Rather than turning to the truth in God’s Word or taking such destructive thoughts captive, defeat appears unavoidable, and persevering any longer seems impossible.
- When faced with adversity, do I try to remove the difficulty, or do I seek to understand God’s purposes in allowing it?
- Where do I turn for relief when times are stressful?
- When is hope a wishful thought and when is it a well-founded certainty?
- Do I rejoice when falsely accused or ridiculed, or do I become defensive and bitter toward those who question my integrity?
- When I am corrected, do I accept His reproof humbly, or do I become discouraged about living the Christian life?
- Amid trying times, do I focus my eyes on God’s unfailing promises instead of giving up?
- Do I live as a soldier in a critical spiritual war or as a civilian in a time of peace and prosperity?
- Do I understand why finishing well is important?
More About Endurance
God enables me to:
Hold on to hope.
Remember the reward.
Renew my strength.
Keep my eyes on the goal.
Refuse to give up.
Take one step at a time.
Not let criticism discourage me.
Keep going even though I am tired.
Endurance in Scripture
Paul’s Final Charge to Timothy
Revealed in Nature
Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum
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Free Resources for Endurance
Enjoy these selections from the Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum that are fun and memorable!