The Listening Heart ~ Endurance
Heb. 10:36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
Faith in not only the promise but the One who made the promise is essential to having the fortitude and perseverance to press on when it is difficult. Our faith is strengthened in the tests, trials, temptations, challenges, and difficulties that come our way.
Recently, I shared what I believe to be a word from the Lord, at our church with the permission of my pastor. It was a great encouragement to me personally and gave me a different perspective on something that I was dealing with. It was also timely and appropriate to the message that was shared in our service that week.
It was this:
“Sometimes I allow resistance in your life-not to keep you tethered, but to build your strength.”
Let’s process this a bit!
There have been times that I felt like I was being punished by not being able to move forward in something, like an invisible rope was tied to my ankle and secured to a pole. It was frustrating to feel restricted and unable to go where I wanted to go, when I wanted to go. Maybe you have felt like that too.
But here is what I know and believe: GOD IS SOVEREIGN! He knows what is coming my way when I can’t see it. He knows what I need to be ready for what lies ahead of me, and He knows when I will be ready. In the waiting time, I believe He is preparing me to be effective and successful in honoring Him. I didn’t get to this quickly - even that was a process in and of itself!
So how does this RESISTANCE thing work?
-We have all heard of physical resistance training and know that some of the benefits is that it builds physical strength, endurance, and flexibility.
-I believe mental resistance can strengthen us when we can recognize problems and realize that we have to invest ourselves to find substantive solutions, and may be exercised in debate.
-Spiritual resistance in the form of tests, trials and temptations WILL build our faith, strengthen our resolve, enhance our focus, develop our character, and give us what we need to endure and finish what God has called us to start.
All of these things (strength, endurance, flexibility, recognizing problems, solving problems, faith-building, resolved/committed, focus, and purpose just to name a few) that are cultivated during times of resistance serve a good purpose and produce something beneficial in us allowing us to give to others. While we may not enjoy these things we must be grateful for the opportunities to grow and become what God sees in each of us!
He made us uniquely with tons of potential! He gave us gifts, skills, abilities, and talents on purpose for a purpose! He doesn’t waste anything. The more we practice - the better we get!
We begin to engage all that God has given us to be used here and now! We learn how to steward/manage time, energy, money, and resources!
WHY? “...so that when we have done the will of God, we may receive what was promised.”
We do what we do for a reward. We must do before we receive - this is faith in action! We must be willing to work and to wait - this is patience in action added to faith in action! Do we see how invested He is in us? He keeps building more and more of Himself into us, showing His faith in us and His faithfulness to us!
I believe that we get two rewards! One on earth and one in eternity. The one on earth is His peace in knowing that He loves me/us and is for me/us! The other IS eternal life with Him through the saving faith that He granted me/us in and through Christ!