Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and you will leave me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (John 16:32-33)
The verdict is in. The end of the story is written. We win. Even in the midst of persecution we can have joyful peace in the certainty of Christ’s victory. We just have to make it to the end. And how do we do that? We endure.
The Bible tells us in Hebrews 10:36 that, “[We] have need of endurance, so that after [we] have done the will of God, [we] may receive the promise.” There are a couple different viewpoints when it comes to endurance. There’s the “if we can just hold on ’til the end” people. These are the people who let life happen to them. Who hold onto their salvation by the skin of their teeth and do nothing to further the kingdom of God. Then there’s the people who charge into their future. The people who run for the finish line. Endurance is not just about surviving. It’s about how we get there.
“My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of The Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by The Lord—that The Lord is very compassionate and merciful.” (James 5:10-11) The Greek word for endure in this passage of scripture is hupomeno. Hupomeno means to hold one’s ground in conflict, bear up against adversity, hold out under stress, stand firm, persevere under pressure, wait calmly and courageously. It is not passive resignation to fate or mere patience, but the active, energetic resistance to defeat that allows calm and brave endurance. Endurance isn’t just making it to the end. It includes our attitude as we go.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1) My friends, there are generations of saints that have gone before that are cheering us on. But we can’t run with the cares of this world weighing us down. Cast them over on The Lord and run your race! Keep your eyes on God’s eternal purpose and endure.