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Endurance and Perseverance

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Women Living Well Blog: Endurance and Perseverance

Women Living Well Blog

Monday, March 23, 2009

Endurance and Perseverance

In 2 weeks, I will run in a 5K (3+ mile) race. No I am not a runner - nor have I ever ran in a race before - but part of "living well" includes me bringing discipline to my body (my temple) and so this challenge has forced me to do something I hate - run! When I started training - running one mile was pretty easy for me, running two miles was difficult and running three miles was beyond my abilities. But today I can say that I am able to run 3 miles without stopping to walk. I have learned endurance - so I thought!

So this past Saturday I went with a group of girls to where the race will be held, and we did a practice run on the course. To my surprise - Mt. Everest was on the course!!! And guess what - I did not have the endurance to run up the hill. You see there's this hill right at about 1 1/2 miles into the run, that is extremely steep - and to my chagrin - it reappears on loop two - right before crossing the finish line. So when my legs feel like rubber and my chest like someone has laid a weight on it - I need to sprint up this hill before crossing the finish line - LOVELY! This was not a pleasant surprise.

So for the next two weeks - I will be training on how to persevere hills - something I had not prepared myself for previously! "Perseverance" - it's a strong word - if you never have to endure hardship you will never learn perseverance. Perseverance can not be taught - it must be learned through experience.

James 1:2,3 says "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

The Greek word means "the ability to stay under pressure." God uses pressure to teach us to never give up. You can't learn it by everything going your way. And what is God's goal? Verse 4 says "Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

God's goal is to mature you...when he saved you, he loved you as you were - but He's not going to leave you like you are - his ultimate purpose is to grow us up and make us like Christ. Character is the bottom line. This is God's agenda for your life - do not be overwhelmed by your difficult marriage, difficult child, difficult in-laws or difficult illness. We must see the bigger picture - if God sends you a trial - he has a purpose for it. He's building character not comfort. He is building perseverance in you.

There are two ways God makes us like Jesus - one is through his word - his truth. The more we get into his word, the more the word gets into us and it transforms us. If his word doesn't do it - then problems will!

If God wants to teach you love - He might put you around unlovely people. If he wants to teach you his peace, He may put you in chaos. If He wants to teach you His joy, He may surround you by sadness. And if He wants to teach you patience, He may just put you in the midst of a traffic jam! Anyone can have peace on a beach vacation - but God wants to give you His peace, His love, and His joy that perseveres in the midst of our trials. We are God's workmanship - he wants to make you into a masterpiece.

There are some things in life we will never be free from on this side of heaven. And so James gives us a promise in verse 12 "Blessed in the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God promised to those who love him."

There's going to be a reward for perseverance - God promises it! This isn't just for the church superstars on earth - this is for anyone who perseveres - this is for the faithful woman who smiles, believes, loves and rejoices despite her hardships.

Are you learning endurance or giving up? You haven't failed until you quit. Don't give up - press on! I know this was lengthy today (so if you are still reading - way to persevere!!!! ) - but this is something that God has laid heavy on my heart recently - and something he has been teaching me through different trials in my own life. Are there any areas where you can see that you are stronger than you were only months ago?

Walk with the King!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this! I needed to be reminded of everything you mentioned!! Even though deep inside, I know I will never quit, I have to admit that becoming stagnate is something I have struggled with the past year. Which, to me is worse than actually giving up!

March 23, 2009 at 9:02 AM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Melodie - nice to meet you!! Perseverance is something we will never master. We will be learning it for the rest of our lives. But we know that God will not give us more than we can handle and he gives us the grace we need in the midst of our trials. Continue to lean on him and press on!! NO more stagnating! Move on to maturity! You are stronger than you think - when you are leaning on Jesus!

March 23, 2009 at 5:43 PM  
Blogger daningo said...

Good reminder. Thanks!!

March 23, 2009 at 11:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Post. Right on the mark - such an encouragement!


March 24, 2009 at 6:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. I needed to read this today. I have been "going through" for quite awhile. But, I will persevere. A word in due season.

November 2, 2009 at 7:33 AM  

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