“By your endurance you will gain your lives (souls).” Luke 21:19
This is a foreboding passage.
Jesus basically tells His disciples that bad days are coming, and yet if they persevere, they will win or gain their souls. It is without question that most of the disciples endured hardship, persecution and even execution. Life was extremely hard for these Christ-followers, yet they persevered not just for themselves, but for their Rabbi – for their Messiah. The purpose that they had been given was beyond just their solitary lives – it was a purpose that brought hope into all of the corners of the known world.
From this first century context, we too can glean some meaning from these words of Jesus. Life doesn’t always contain full promises and ONLY happy days…life is sometimes hard. Sickness happens, unemployment occurs, cut backs, mounting bills, relationship issues, broken promises, loss of loved ones and friendships you thought would be long lasting. Life. Is. Hard. Sometimes.
It is certainly a sharp contrast from the lives of those first followers of Christ, but there are still many very real struggles in this life. I don’t want to list all of them today, but I do wish to convey that you are not alone. We all endure these hardships, these difficult days, these dark days. Sometimes giving up seems like the easiest thing to do – don’t. Sometimes throwing in the towel on our faith seems like the logical thing to do when anger and frustration consumes us – don’t.
Faith often takes us to places that we generally do not wish to be.
We long for the warm sun in our faces and the soft sand beneath our feet, but instead we stand in the bitterness of winter’s blasts numbing our faces and our hearts. Even then we’re to endure? Even here in the dark days? -Yes. We fight on. We recognize that our witness of Christ in us matters to our small corner of this world. We wage a war against these spiritual forces in our world that long to tighten, not loosen, the bonds of sin and death upon all of humanity.
Despite the season or circumstances you might find yourself in today – Faith wins.
We step out and onward knowing that God’s Holy presence is with us. We continue this calling of love. We say “Your will be done in my life – not mine.” Only in full submission does any of this make sense. Only in full submission to God do we become strong again and can access strength that is supernatural and beyond us. Only here are we able to persevere and endure. Only here will we gain the constant presence of the Holy Spirit, not that He isn’t always present, but rather, we have become finely tuned into His frequency in this world and in our lives.
So How About it?
Are you struggling today? Do you know someone who is going through a dark time?
How can this hope and light of Christ alleviate and penetrate that darkness? Are you submitted fully to Him?
Regardless of what has transpired in your life, today is what matters – how you live this moment makes a difference. We can choose to curse God for our circumstances or we can praise Him despite the difficulties that we face.
Something more to ponder today.
To God be the glory!
I do not believe in coincidences, so when I finished writing my blog about suffering and endurance, I saw your post. A Godcidence. I still have questions. I still have hope. But sometimes the subject of endurance through trials always makes me wonder if we lose our salvation if we do not endure….and end life as my son was said to have done. We can only assume he had an undiagnosed illness. So many questions on top of the already heartache of loss….endurance is hard.