In this four-part series, we’ll be looking at how to endure hardship. In this first part we’ll start by looking at the importance of endurance in the Bible, and then we’ll move on to consider how we can endure hardship as discipline from God.
Endurance in the Bible
The story of the Bible is a story of endurance. From Noah to Abraham to Moses to Jesus, the heroes of the faith all had to endure hardship. Noah endured the flood, Abraham endured the sacrifice of Isaac, Moses endured 40 years in the wilderness, and Jesus endured the cross.
What are you enduring right now?
I’m sure that each of us is enduring some kind of hardship right now. Maybe you’re struggling with sickness, financial strain, or relationship problems. Maybe you’re going through a job change or a house move. Whatever it is, you’re not alone.
We need encouragement
When we’re in the midst of hardship, we need encouragement. We don’t need false hope, but we do need truth that encourages us. The Bible is full of truth that can encourage us in our time of need.
The encouragement of Hebrews 12
In Hebrews 12, the author encourages us to endure hardship by reminding us that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. These witnesses are the heroes of the faith who have gone before us and endured hardship. They are our examples, and they can encourage us to keep going.
Jesus: The great endurer
The greatest example of endurance is Jesus himself. Jesus endured the cross, scorning its shame, so that we could be forgiven of our sins and have eternal life. Jesus understands what we’re going through, and he is with us every step of the way.
How to endure hardship as discipline
The author of Hebrews also tells us that God disciplines those he loves. This may not seem like good news when we’re in the midst of hardship, but it is actually a great comfort. It means that God is not abandoning us, but he is actually working in our lives to make us more like Jesus.
How to visit the gym
So how do we endure hardship as discipline? The author of Hebrews gives us three practical tips:
Throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. This means that we need to be honest with ourselves about the things that are holding us back and the things that are keeping us from growing closer to God. We need to be willing to let go of these things so that we can run the race that God has set before us.
Fix our eyes on Jesus. When we’re going through hardship, it’s easy to get discouraged. But if we fix our eyes on Jesus, we can find the strength to keep going. Jesus is the one who endured the cross for us, and he is the one who will give us the victory in the end.
Run with perseverance. Endurance takes perseverance. It takes a willingness to keep going even when things are tough. But if we persevere, we will eventually reach the finish line.
Enduring hardship is not easy, but it is possible. With God’s help, we can endure any hardship that comes our way and see God transforming us in the process. So let’s not give up. Let’s keep going, and let’s fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.