Endurance

What kind of person are you?  Once you make a commitment, do you keep your commitment through good times and bad?  When you start a job, do you continue working until it is finished?  Or do you give up when you face difficulties and discouragements?  Jesus told the parable of the farmer that sowed seed.  Some seed fell on the wayside or by the road, some on the rocks, some among thorns and some on good ground.  Jesus explained the parable in Luke 8:11-15 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.   Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.   But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.   Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.  But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.”  I especially want to concentrate on the seed sown on the rock as opposed to those sown on good ground.  Those sown on the rocks believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.  Whereas those sown on good ground keep the word and bear fruit with patience.

As a Christian, you made a commitment to God.  When trials and temptations come into your life, you have to decide whether you are going to keep your commitment to God or you are going to fall away.  1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”  God provides a way of escape so that you can endure and keep your commitment to Him.  You have to make the choice.  James even taught us to have joy during trials.  James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”  If you keep your commitment to God you will develop patience and the character God wants you to have.

When you are tempted to fall away, you need to be reminded of the reasons why you made your commitment to God in the first place.  Hebrews 6:10 -12 “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.  And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”  God has given you many promises to include eternal life.  Through faith, patience and diligence you will inherit the promises.  Matthew 24:12-13 “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.  But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”

We need to remind ourselves that Jesus is coming back to receive us.  We need to endure and be patient until He comes.  James 5:7-8 “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.  You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” Hebrews 10:35-39 “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.  For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:  ‘For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him.’  But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.” 

You are not alone in experiencing temptations and trials in your life.  Your brothers and sisters in Christ also have trials.  We have many examples in the Bible of those who experienced trials and yet remained faithful to God.  James 5:10-11 “My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience.  Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord — that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.” We have the story about Job recorded in the book of Job.  He experiences trials far worse than any trial you will endure, and yet he persevered.  He lost all of his possessions, all of his children and had terrible pain and suffering in his body.  Eventually, God relieved Job of his trials and greatly blessed him. 

My encouragement to you is to be patient, endure the trials that come into your life and remain faithful.  2 Timothy 2:11-13 “This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him.  If we endure, We shall also reign with Him.  If we deny Him, He also will deny us.  If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” Endure and don’t give up.