Endurance in Suffering, Loneliness and Boredom.

Photo by Andy Armstrong.

I was reading, “Life at its Best,” by Eugene H. Peterson. He is the man who wrote the translation of the Bible called, “The Message.” Chapter 12 is entitled, “Hope,” and is about persevering in the Christian life. I found it to be helpful and full of encouragement.

I have written before how the Lord said to me, “You lack endurance.” This was at a time when I thought my life was empty, lonely and useless. God told me what I needed was endurance. I said, “Endurance! Who cares about endurance? Just get me out of here.” By that, I meant this world. But he said, “I could do that. But what if I told you that you would be helping people if you stayed?” I reluctantly said, “Well, alright.”

At the time, I had no idea how much my mother, daughters and grandchildren would need me in the future. God has shown me again and again how I could help them and I’ve very grateful to him for not taking me to heaven, as I had asked.

I started reading about endurance and tried to learn it and asked God to give it to me. My life became wonderful, peaceful and hopeful. He showed me that he is enough to fill my life. I didn’t need anyone or anything else.

I thought I would share a bit of what I read this morning with all of you. I don’t always agree with everything Peterson writes, but he is just a man and I don’t expect to agree with every Christian. So, here are some excerpts from chapter 12:

“Perseverance means we keep going. We do not quit when we find we are not yet mature and there is still a long journey ahead of us.” 

“Endurance is not a desperate hanging on but a traveling from strength to strength.”

“God sticks to his relationships. He establishes a relationship and stays with it. The central reality for Christians is the personal, unalterable, persevering commitment that God makes to us. Perseverance is not the result of our determination; it is the result of God’s faithfulness to us.”

“Christian discipleship is a process of paying more and more attention to God’s righteousness and less and less attention to our own, finding the meaning of our lives not by probing our moods and motives and morals, but by believing in God’s will and purposes; making a map of faithfulness of God, not charting the rise and fall of our enthusiasms. It is out of such a reality that we acquire perseverance.”

“That is what the writer of the New Testament letter to the Hebrew Christians did when writing about the people of the Old Testament. God stuck by them through thick and thin in such a way they were able to persevere. All made their share of mistakes, sins and rebellion, but God stuck with them so consistently and surely that they learned how to stick with God.”

“Out of the litany comes the call: ‘Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.'”

3 thoughts on “Endurance in Suffering, Loneliness and Boredom.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s