I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Study on Endurance

All of us have times when we question our commitment to the Lord, wonder if the things we experience as born again believers are worth it. We all feel like giving up; we get overwhelmed, even with our daily routine.

I would like to share some weaponry, an arsenal to fight back against those feelings of despair and depression, and being overwhelmed. God has a wonderful and unique plan for each of us, and we will find out what it is if we endure through the trials in life.

This study will be a three-parter. It was too long for one post, and I want to make sure you don’t skip out on the end, so I will post the rest later. In two following posts. Because a three-part post includes three parts.

Definition: Endurance-
1. A bearing or suffering; a continuing under pain or distress without resistance, or without sinking or yielding to the pressure; sufferance; patience.

2. To last; to continue in the same state without perishing; to remain; to abide.

Scripture is full of examples of those who experienced extreme situations who did not give up, who did not break under the pressure, and were blessed because they endured. It is also full of instruction of what to do when we experience things that make us want to give up.

Before I started to study this topic, I had no idea how much scripture there actually was about this subject. The Bible is an amazing book, and God continues to show me that! I have been so blessed by this study, and so excited! I really feel equipped to better handle myself in the future.

I. Why Do We have Trials?
Persecution, affliction, and trials happen in our lives, because God has to remind us of our human weakness. The original sin was pride, Satan exalting himself against God. Eve’s sin was pride, wanting to have the knowledge of God. God therefore knows we are prideful creatures. The only way He can teach us total reliance on Him is to give us trials and testings of our faith: situations to force us to depend on him.

Paul gives us a great example of this. He was wrongly accused and beaten several times. He was thrown in prison; he suffered a thorn in the flesh, a trial of his faith. He says:

2Co 1:8-10 "For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;"

When we think of Paul, we think of a strong man, one who did not give up easily. Yet here in verse 8 it says that he despaired even of life! He thought he would die because of what he was going through. How did he react?

Look at verse 9. In this verse, Paul tells us the only true sentence of death was in themselves; that is, if they trusted in their flesh. Here he was admitting his weakness. Clearly in vs. 10 he knew he needed to depend solely on God to sustain him. God was the only one who could deliver him, had already delivered him from death in sin, and could raise him from physical death, should that happen. How are we to do any less?

Also, through trials and tribulations, God is trying to teach us something.

James 1:2-4 "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."

The word ‘temptations’ in verse 2 is defined in verse 3. It means trials of our faith, not temptations to sin. Through these trials, God is trying to perfect us, mature us, make us more like His Son Jesus Christ. Instead of despairing when we face trials, we need to react with joy, because it is proof that we belong to God, and He is molding us!! It should be exciting that He is working in our lives!

Part Two will be dealing with 'What Are We to Do?' Will you endure to the end of this study? I hope so!

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