Just one more thing: Enduring despite all obstacles
One of the biggest success factors that — as the old saying goes separates the sheep from the goats is endurance.
Endurance! It means to hold on. To last. To remain. To continue.
Endurance is the ability to put up with pain. To persist under pressure. To deal with distress and fight fatigue.
Stop and think about this character trait for a moment. As Christians we must develop it. Our eternal life depends on it. Matthew 24:13 says, "He that shall endure until the end, the same shall be saved."
Commitment to the end "Endure" here means to stand pain or fatigue, to bear, to undergo, to put up with. It means to tolerate, to last, to continue, to remain. It means to bear pain without flinching, undying dedication, commitment to the end.
I'm encouraged every time I read this scripture. Let me explain why.
A central part of the meaning of endurance in the Bible is patience. Patience is another meaning for many words translated "endurance."
Endurance, then means not being rattled by trials and problems. It means facing them with a large dose of calm — you don't overly worry, because you know everything is going to come out all right. You've read the book (the Bible) and know how it comes out in the end — we win!
In Revelation 3:10, an interesting scripture written to the Church of Philadelphia reads: "Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth" (New International Version).
Enduring means holding on tightly against all odds. ("And after he [Abraham] had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.") It means that when you get to what seems to be the end of your rope, you tie a knot in it and hold on for dear life. The word carries with it a flavor of determination. You have set your mind and energies on a goal in front of you, and nothing is going to deter you. You are an irresistible force like a glacier.
Don't give in As Winston Churchill put it: "Never give in! Never, never, never, never. In nothing great or small. large or petty — never give in except to conviction of honor and good sense." Good advice when it comes to obtaining our Christian goal in life — salvation and God's Kingdom.
We are in a life-and-death battle, but when the smoke clears, even though we may be sitting down because we can't stand up anymore, we must still be there.
The word also carries the connotation of making the best of a bad situation — this world in general, living with a belligerent, unconverted mate, a catastrophic illness, poverty, losing friends or relatives, other personal trials — we face them with courage because we know everything is working to our good (Romans 8:28). "Behold we count them happy which endure" (James 5:11).
Some pain is expected when running a race (ours is a spiritual race). Unless we concentrate on our goal of finishing the race, we are going to let that pain get to us, and we'll think: What am I doing here? I'm going to give up and quit! And many runners do just that. Often when they have only a few more yards to go, they quit. A runner must be extremely motivated to achieve the goal. Keep in mind Galatians 6:9, "Let us not grow weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart" (Revised Standard Version).
Victory belongs to the Christian who accomplishes in spite of pain. Who persists under pressure. Who deals with distress. Who fights fatigue. Who endures.