Healing & Joy Teaching Words of Life

Enduring Patience through Uphill Struggles

endurance

“And let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us. Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and also it’s Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]” (Hebrews 12:1b-2a).

As a runner, I know from experience how hard it can be to run uphill, especially in a race. I’ve learned that when running hills, you must not focus on how much farther you must climb to finish; you must instead patiently concentrate on your present stride, one step at a time. When you look too far ahead, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with negative thoughts, such as, I’m not going to be able to finish; this is too long; I’m too tired and weary; I can’t keep going; I’m exhausted; this is hard!

As a Christian, I know from experience how difficult it can be to ‘run up the hill’ of hardship and trying times. Like the runner, we sometimes struggle to keep stepping forward in this Kingdom of Light. We want to believe and trust that God will see us through to a higher and better spiritual place, but thoughts and feelings tempt us to be discouraged as we think of enduring the trial we are passing through at the present.

However, God has directives for us that will lead to patient endurance and victory in life, no matter how tough the times may get. We are told to run with patient endurance and steady, active persistence the appointed course that is set before us. Patient endurance is something most of us know little about- we want what we want now, or at least very soon, we want the hard to be over! It is God’s miraculous job to work enduring patience into our hearts and minds. Remember the promise given us- “He who began a good work in us, will bring it to completion”. Enduring patience is powerful, and will help us to not fear what we are facing. We will learn to trust God one step at a time and not get too far ahead of today. That is why Jesus told us to “take no thought for tomorrow”.

It is God’s design to use the challenging times of uphill battles in our lives to create in us an enduring, uncomplaining, and tolerant spirit. “Moreover [let us also be full of joy now]. Let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. And endurance develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character produces the habit of joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation. Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us”(Romans 5:3-5).  He is at work to make us stable and give us the perseverance and endurance we need to continue on toward spiritual enlightenment, one step at a time.

As we focus on Jesus and look away from all that will distract- figuring in the flesh, worry, fear, doubt, weariness, and negative thoughts and patterns, etc. – our faith will gradually grow and produce the beautiful spiritual fruit of patient endurance. Because of His mercy, grace, and love, we will experience victory over our struggles! It’s amazing to know that during uphill battles- God has the power and desire to work eternal good into our heart, soul, and mind.

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