Endurance. Just hearing the word makes you sweat.
Endurance describes a person with the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or some other adverse condition. It is the picture of bearing pain and hardships. One image that comes to mind is from the reality TV show “Survivor” where all the contestants were required to hold their arms up, seeing who could last the longest.
Have you ever tried that? Our arms are heavy! It was painful to watch the contestants stand there for hours, enduring the pain, determined to win.
But let’s “Look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, ENDURED the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right had of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
No one has held their arms up as long as Jesus. He is the epitome of endurance. And He did it for a prize too–the prize of saving the world. “Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3).
I love what T.L. Osborn said: “Well, of course he sat down–there was nothing left for Him to do!”
Jesus endured until it was finished. He didn’t quit early. He despised the shame, the pain, and the temptation to stop short.
If we will endure also, we will see similar results. The writer of Hebrews said, “If you will endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, [after you have endured] it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:7,11).
Don’t focus on the chastening or the pain (that which you are enduring through). Instead, focus on the results–the peaceable fruit of righteousness! Or we could say, the PRIZE.
Those who endure, WIN. In fact, Jesus said, “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21).
So keep enduring… A place has been saved for you in the winner’s circle.