Thursday, September 1, 2016

Thoughts on Endurance

by Danetta Kellar

How does one really endure long, difficult circumstances? How does one wake up each day, face life and do it well, against the struggle?

I heard the story recently of a young boy who was spending a weekend with his father in their cabin in the beautiful wilderness of Alaska. From their front porch, they could watch the bald eagles soar and dive into the water to catch fresh salmon. Over and over again, the eagles would carefully survey the water, dive, and lock their talons on their delicious prey, soaring high again into the sky.

One particular morning, an eagle circled and circled, and circled again. Finally, with a majestic bow, it dove into the clear waters below. However, the salmon it pursued was not willing to give up easily. Apparently much larger and stronger than the eagle, the salmon pulled him under the water. The eagle’s talons were locked onto his prey, and he could not let go. The eagle never returned to the surface. 

Salmon are known for swimming against strong currents, sometimes making journeys of hundreds of miles upstream. Most salmon average about 30 pounds in weight, but have been known to weigh over 120 lbs. 

The strength of the salmon must surely be increased by his determination and dedication to resisting the current that would push him backwards, back to the place from which he came. Instead, he presses forward, toward the goal of new life in a new place. His perseverance equips him for the enemies who would destroy him. He is an overcomer, a picture of Truth for each of us.

As we press forward against the raging currents of life that would push us backwards, back to the place from which we came, our strength is increased. Soul strength, emotional strength, faith strength. 

We strain toward new life, the reward that comes on the other side of perseverance. We are overcomers, equipped to defeat the enemies who would destroy us.

God’s creation testifies of His wisdom.

As I have meditated on endurance in my own life lately, several principles have risen like guideposts along the misty path.

  • Ask boldly for God’s power that leads to endurance. Colossians 1:11, Romans 15:5
  • Celebrate God's new mercies each morning, every day. Lamentations 3:22-23
  • Place your hope in Jesus and His example of endurance in suffering. 1 Thessalonians 1:3
  • Gather with others who understand, for comfort produces endurance. 2 Corinthians 1:6
  • Pursue endurance; chase it with intention of catching it! 1 Timothy 6:11
  • Follow those who endure well, for endurance can be taught and mentored. Titus 2:2
  • Be patient, for patience is the companion of endurance. Colossians 1:11, 2 Timothy 3:10, Revelation 1:9, Revelation 13:10, Revelation 14:12

For a deeper look, check out the verses after each tip. Hiding God's word in our hearts gives us power to endure.

I have been implementing these principles day by day lately. And they are working. I think they will work for you too.

Lord, fill me with the power to endure life’s trials today. Thank you for the hope that is found in Jesus. Bring others into my life who understand, who are also pursuing endurance, who I can learn from. And make me patient, for this is difficult indeed. But it is not too difficult for You. Amen.


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