Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. Matthew 4:1-2
“Endurance comes by knowing that we will win the prize, or attain our dream unless we give up on the race.”
Endurance is experiencing the power of God’s love by rejoicing in trials and tribulations. Endurance is focusing on a goal greater than distractions along the way. The opposite of endurance is discouragement. Truth be told, between every dream and its fulfillment are many obstacles. One writer calls these obstacles, “giants” and “bullies”. Giants and bullies are circumstances (and sometimes people) which are there to distract us from pursuing our God-given dreams. Endurance comes by knowing that we will win the prize, or attain our dream unless we give up on the race. One thing we need to know is that every good and precious thing will be tested. There is no crown without a cross. Pure gold has to be purified by fire.
One of the amazing—and honestly speaking, confusing—passages in the Bible is one in Matthew 4:1: “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” How could the Holy Spirit lead the Son of God to the wilderness to be tempted? But the truth is that, Jesus had to pass the test before he could embark on his mission as the savior of the world. The good news is that He endured and passed the test. Not only did he overcome the temptations, the Bible also says that “Jesus returned [from the wilderness] in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14) Friend, this is an amazing truth: – that when we rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to endure whatever hardship that comes our way, God empowers us with more of his power.
How can we endure trials?
- Thank God for each trial. Every trial gives you an opportunity to develop character.
- Rejoice in all things. Once we recognize the benefits that God intends through our trials, we can rejoice in them
- Cry out when necessary. Some situations should not be endured, and God will bring relief when we cry put to him. The Bible says in Psalm 50:15 that “call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
- Overcome by doing good. Romans 12:21 says “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Let me end with an illustration [which I borrowed from someone] of endurance from God’s creation:
The palm tree endures abuse that would kill other trees, because it is not damaged by surface wounds. The source of a palm tree is its center rather than just beneath the outward surface, as in other trees. During times of drought, its roots can go deep into the ground and draw nourishment. And the longer it endures, the sweeter its fruit becomes!