(All scriptures from New Living Translation)
We all face challenges every day of our lives. On a good day, they can be so insignificant that we may not even notice them. But then other days will arrive and we find ourselves almost feeling like ocean waves are sweeping over us. In fact, we have had more than a year of wave after wave of challenges trying to drown us with fear and helplessness. But here we are on the other side with a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
How we face our life challenges is what makes the difference. We can face them, large or small, by either letting them just completely overwhelm us, or by facing them head-on. Challenges can, and usually will, help in some way to make us better and stronger. There is a line in one of Kelly Clarkson’s songs that says “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I believe that. Difficulties we face can build us up with hope and strengthen our character, if we will only endure (persevere.)
It can be hard at times to look at challenges with a right attitude – with joy. But here is what Romans 5:3-5 says: “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” James 1:2-4 tells us: “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
There are rewards waiting out there for us when we approach life challenges with the right attitude. Hebrews 10:36 says: “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.” Then there is James 1:12: “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
There are times though that we become very weary and wonder how we can go on, but here is the promise we can count on in Philippians 4:13: “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Never forget, it is His battle not ours, just lean on Him. The resolution may not happen immediately but in the right time, it will come about.
A few other words of encouragement for endurance:
“By perseverance the snail reached the ark.” Charles Spurgeon
“Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence.” Ovid
“The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.” Thomas A. Edison
“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” Dale Carnegie
“Giving up is the only sure way to fail.” Gena Showalter
“It’s always too soon to quit!” Norman Vincent Peale
“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” Newt Gingrich
“…there is no way to learn endurance other than simply to endure.” Chris Tiegreen
Written by Karran Martin – May 16, 2020/Revised May 1, 2021