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Life Lesson 3:To get the best results in life and fulfill your God-given purpose, you must stay in the zone so you can practice patient endurance.

“Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.” -Hebrews 10:36 (NLT)

When I think of living my life for Christ, I think of endurance because like exercise, you must persevere to get the proper result and reach your goal. Think with me for a moment. You have spent years struggling with your weight and health. You are at your wits end, nothing seems to fit right, and you are tired of the uphill battle of finding the right pair of jeans, feeling uncomfortable in your own skin and just can’t seem to shake the habit of passing by that glazed donut in the office or that weekly potluck at work that tempts your taste buds. You are surrounded by all the foods you love, and no matter how hard you try, you just can’t say no, especially to the ones that spread your hips and your waistline. I know y’all know what I’m talking about, so don’t pretend. Some of you can relate as I can. You desperately want to lose weight, but boy, oh boy it is just such a challenge.  Everything seems to be against your best efforts.

My friend, Christian life faces that same challenge. When we try to walk with the Lord, here comes temptation to test us. But don’t be dismayed, there is hope. Christ is our only hope. As we continue to think about the scenario of endurance, we see that not only is it a challenge to live this life, but without Jesus Christ, we cannot do life in our own strength. We can only persevere with Him and through Him.

During an exercise, we often start off strong and confident, right?  Well, some do, but for the most part, many of us can honestly say we are motivated to start and as we work through the movements of the exercises, they tend to get a little harder. The challenge of the exercise tests our endurance and ultimately our character. Are we in the class for the right reasons, or are we simply there with the hope of fitting in a skinny jean? Are we there to get healthy and live a balanced life, or are we there to show off our cute outfits? Why we are doing it is the true test of whether we will finish the exercise and make it a part of our daily routine. Wouldn’t you agree that to get the results you desire, and to keep in tip-top shape, you must make the exercise a daily habit and couple it with healthy food choices? The same is true for our walk with the Lord. We must make Him a lifestyle, not only through prayer and the reading of His Word but also putting His Word into action by making it the focus of our conduct, character, and conversations. This will take patient endurance.

No doubt, we will face challenges as we follow the Lord. Any and everything will seem to be against us, but we must keep going. Like exercise, we must continue the movements in order to get the best results, keeping in mind also that form is important. Simply showing up and giving half of your efforts is not enough to successfully reach your physical goal. If you showed up, gave a hundred percent and then go home and eat an entire pizza, then you have just defeated the purpose and erased all the hard work you just did. You have not persevered. The same is true, that if you have given your life to Christ, you must decide beforehand to fully surrender to Him despite all the temptations that seek to distract you. If we are continually being influenced by the world, we’re not persevering in Christ. Endurance comes when despite what we face in this life, our assurance is in the Lord and we look to His awesome guide to strengthen us and lead us.

During an exercise routine when you are tired and feeling like you’re going to die, that’s when the trainer or instructor comes along to motivate you and remind you of why you are doing it. In the same way, when life gets hard and we feel defeated or that we can’t take another step forward, Jesus comes alongside us to encourage, comfort, and strengthen us to keep going. No matter your circumstances today, hold fast to the hope and promise of Jesus Christ. His promises are true and He will never fail us. My prayer is that you will endure in the Lord.

“Endurance is a key indicator of spiritual fitness.”

– Alistair Begg

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