Endurance means "staying the course." But endurance is only a word until you have to deal with a strife-torn marriage, the long road back from bankruptcy, divorce or illness, the rebuilding of your life, or the required preparation for success in any field. It takes commitment to keep going when friends fail you, discouragement whispers "give up", and doubt says, "it cannot be done." That is when endurance takes on new meaning. It becomes your anchor in the storm, your compass in times of confusion, and the head of steam that gets you up the next hill.
Remember, God knows when to discontinue a trial because its purpose has been fulfilled. And He gives us two great promises:
- His comforting presence [See Isaiah 43:2 - 5].
- The assurance that He will not permit more pressure than we can handle [See 1 Corinthians 10:13].
But there is another reason - others are watching! Paul writes, "People are watching us as we stay at our post...working hard, working late, working without eating; with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness and honest love; when we are telling the truth...when God is showing His power; when we are doing our best setting things right; when we are praised, and when are blamed; slandered, and honored; true to our word, though distrusted; ignored by the world, but recognized by God...immersed in tears yet always filled with deep joy; living on handouts, yet enriching many; having nothing, having it all" [1 Corinthians 6:1 - 10]. That is called "staying the course".