Consider This | In Trouble | Endurance
…knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. James 1:3
Levi doubled over, leaning on his knees while trying to catch his breath. “Okay…tell me again…why we’re doing this. You’re trying to kill me.” Coach Will slapped him on the back and laughed. “I thought you were a runner, you told me you were in shape!” Levi slumped against the wall and took a long drink from his water bottle. “I thought I was too, but this is insane. Four o’clock in the morning, seriously? Weights strapped to my legs…aghhh…” The coach nodded as he stared out over the track. “You’re used to sprints, but if you wanna compete in marathons, you have to build up endurance and learn to pace yourself. What you learned in sprint training is out the window, this is the big time. It’s all about whether you can make it to the finish line.”
That’s the theme of the Bible. It’s all about whether we can make it to the finish line. Lots of people start well, they offer a prayer of surrender to the Lord and take off like a cat on fire. They’re into it: reading the Bible, witnessing to strangers, at church every time the doors open. But where are they five, ten, twenty years later? God is not impressed with our sprints, He’s into the big time. He expects marathon runners and will help us train if we don’t resist. He allows trials, struggles, and disappointments into our lives to build our faith. Difficulties make us dig deeper, press closer, surviving only by knuckles-in-the-carpet prayer. Anyone can sprint, but only those fueled by the Holy Spirit, trained through difficulties, will win the marathon.
Final Thought: “Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Mark 13:13
Prayer: Jesus, I’m a pretty good sprinter. I can get fired up about you, but I fizzle out pretty quick. When trouble hits, I bail. I haven’t been very consistent in my relationship with you and I’m ready to change that. Help me endure to the end. Amen.