For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God,
you may receive what was promised
It is easy to give up. It doesn’t take anything except an unwillingness to hang in there. Really successful people, however, know that they have to stay with it to reap the rewards. When God asks us to do something, it is not always easy or quick; but it will be worth it when we have accomplished the mission. I think of many of the great missionaries who sacrificed greatly and with unswerving patience to see the gospel penetrate a culture. I think of the people who have planned the building of bridges, buildings, and dams. These projects take years and significant expertise. I also think about raising children which takes a minimum of eighteen years and requires wisdom, strategy, patience, and sacrifice with little reward until at the very end.
Some of you who are reading this right now want to quit and do something else, but you know that you are on God’s mission. It is especially hard right now. You have lost a loved one or a special relationship because of this assignment. Your Christian morals have cost you something you would dearly love to have back, and right now God’s will may not seem worth it. This was true of the Hebrew Christians that this verse was originally written to. After the initial euphoria of thousands of Jews becoming followers of Christ, the Jewish leaders began a “discredit Christianity” campaign which included killing the leaders and spreading false rumors. The Jewish Christians were now persecuted for their embrace of Jesus as the Jewish Messiah. It was becoming a bigger and bigger issue as Jewish nationalism was reaching a fever pitch. There was a coming war with Rome that was building at this time. The Jewish leaders rejected their Messiah, and they were now going to set up their kingdom without their king. They were going to free themselves from the yoke of Rome on their own. This was the same as the ill-advised assault on the Holy Land after they had rejected God’s plan back in Exodus. The apostle was encouraging the Christians that they needed to stick with their commitment to Christ.
What is the thing that you are thinking about quiting even though you know you should stay with it? It could be your marriage, your family, your business, your book, your idea, your ministry. Are there any ways that you could change or adjust the assignment that will make it easier to stay with it?
Focus on what is promised.
There was a fascinating time when the prophet Jeremiah misplaced his legendary patience and endurance. In Jeremiah 15, in the book that bears his name, he tells of the time when he became angry with God and began to argue with God about all the wonderful things that God had promised to do for him if he would speak God’s message. It is a powerful exchange where Jeremiah is really honest about his feelings. His assignment is too hard, too long, with too few results. God tells him in answer to his tirade that if he stays faithful and returns to Him and if he learns to extract the precious from the worthless, he will be placed in a privileged place before God and will be God’s spokesman. He just needed to keep on going. He just needed endurance.
Remember that the consistent part of every successful person’s story is that they stuck with it long after others gave up for something easier.
* This material is copyrighted © by Gil Stieglitz who retains all rights to the material. The verses quoted are taken from the NASB Bible 1995 edition.