What's the meaning of endurance? According to the wordnetweb, it is "the power to withstand hardship or stress".
Ever started a workout and felt like, "Oh my gosh, I can't do this!" Or thought to yourself, "Man...how much longer?!" I have thought and felt both these things. And yet, I always "muscle through it". Why? Because I know that the end is 1-2 hours away.
Life is a lot like working out. There are moments when I get started on my day, and feel so tired and think, "Oh my gosh, I can't do this!" Or in stormy seasons I often ask the question, "Lord, how much longer?"
If I'm able to see the end when I'm working out, why is it I cannot always see the end of difficult seasons in life?
I guess the easy answer would be that as I stated earlier, I know that an hour or two from when I start working out, I'll be finished. While when facing a life trail, I don't know when the end will come.
Jeremiah 29:11 has become one of my theme scriptures for 2011. "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'." (NIV)
Unlike exercising, in life sometimes we have to go through things that require endurance. But we can rest assured that God does not get a kick out of seeing His children suffer. He has also promised that He won't give us any more than we can bear. We need only call on His name and He will give us rest and strength to endure the remainder of the storm.
Psalm 33:4 also states, "For the word of the Lord is right, and all his works are done in truth." (KJV) We can rest assured that God keeps His promises.
As we're battling our storms, we can also find comfort in knowing that just like the weather seasons never stay the same, our seasons in life never stay the same either.
If you're dealing with something that seems to be wearing you down, I encourage you to surrender your thoughts, heart and feelings to God today. Ask Him to take it because you feel like you can no longer bear it. Or ask Him to give you the strength to endure the remainder of the stormy season. Trust in Him and His plan for you. He'll see you through. After all, His grace is sufficient for us and His power is perfected in our weakness. (2 Corinthians 9, NIV)
I also encourage you to meditate on Isaiah 40:28-31, which reminds us that there's only so much we can do in our own power. But when we wait on God, He'll renew our strength.