Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Alpha of Endurance

UV 3007/10000 The Alpha of Endurance

But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved
Matthew 24 v 13

Once the good root of faith in Jesus is planted in a man, he is subject to a lot of hardship, persecution, trials and tests. Jesus warned His followers that people would hate them just for following Him. But He encouraged them to endure or to patiently continue doing good and bearing fruit till the very end. We need to hold onto our faith till the finishing line and not give up midway when the going gets too tough. Suffering is promised and inevitable but we need to emulate Jesus who bore the suffering of the cross, its shame, its pain till the very end but death or the grave or the sins of the whole of humanity placed on His shoulders could not hold Him prisoner. He rose with a glorified body. He was resurrected and is seated in glory at the right hand of the Father.

St Paul compared the suffering of the follower of Jesus to the hardship of a soldier, the patience of a farmer and the training of an athlete. Indeed, endurance requires courage of a soldier, the patience of a farmer and the discipline of an athlete.
While the farmer learns from years and seasons of experience, of toiling on the land, the soldier and the athlete learn through training. The hope of victory keeps the soldier and the athlete buoyant and focussed. The hope of a rich harvest keeps the farmer consider the toil and the wait worthwhile.

How long should a man endure trouble and suffering? Till the Lord ends it, we are expected to endure, hold on to our hope in Christ for relief, for release, for breakthrough. While we are running, fighting, waiting , we need to ask the Lord for the grace to endure, to finish well. When someone did a survey of leaders and men of God, it was found that a small percentage finished well. They did not endure till the end. But in a race as in a war or battle, the ending is vital. In this race, we are in, in this war we are fighting, we already know the end – of victory, glory, of rest in the Lord, of eternal joy and peace, of rewards and the crown of eternal life. We need to focus on the author and finisher of our faith- Jesus and learn from His example of how He ran, how He fought, how He patiently did the work of the Lord, how He endured.

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