Secrets to Increase Your Endurance
the fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way.
Wikipedia relates endurance to sufferance, resilience, constitution, fortitude, and hardiness and defines it as the ability of an organism to exert itself and remain active for a long period of time, as well as its ability to resist, withstand, recover from, and have immunity to trauma, wounds, or fatigue.
The bible talks about our need for endurance in the book of Hebrews, chapter 10:
But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:
“For yet a little while,
And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.
Now the just shall live by faith;
But if anyone draws back,
My soul has no pleasure in him.”
But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
The following are secrets of building endurance lived out and found in three amazing biographies.
Example No. 1
Don’t let your age stop you.
The book of Joshua, chapter 14 outlines a man with amazing endurance. Joshua was moving into his eighty’s. He had spent the past 40 years on hold. At 45 he almost entered into an amazing venture but was held back because of the mistakes, complaints and unbelief of others. He then had to wait in a deserted place for 40 before being able to go up to bat for the second time. When the opportunity presented itself the second time, Joshua was ready. He had waited half his life for this moment. So when he saw the door open to him he was ready.
Even though he was 80 years old this is what he said, “the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said.”
He was not frail or afraid. He was ready to run after his dreams, to go for the glory, to tackle giants and take the mountains he had set his eyes on so long ago. His reaction tells me he had been thinking about this opportunity, this golden moment and second chance every day that he was stuck in the desert. It doesn’t seem like he kicked up his feet and got lazy. I would guess he dreamed and prepared for this second chance all along. We know for sure he didn’t complain. He kept his eyes fixed on the prize and when the moment was right he seized it with vigor.
Example No. 2
David; 1 & 2 Samuel
Use the resources you and keep moving forward.
David had a very similar experience as Joshua. He had an early victory with a giant and was famous and sung about in the streets as a hero. He had the kings favor and married a princess. He lived in the castle and was one of the youngest Commanders in the Kings army. Everything was in line for success. However, much like Joshua, at the fault and jealousy of others, David had to leave his royal living and run for the hills. He was stuck in the desert, living in caves. His new friends were low life’s who had no where else to go. He became the commander of the low life crew instead of the royal army. At 30 years old, David’s princess and fine dining were gone.
Seventeen years later David received his second chance after years of hard living in a desert place with men that started off being described as, “in distress, in debt, and discontented”. These 400 men started off that way but ended up being called “mighty men of valor”. The years of trial were filled with David being very active, conquering the enemy even though he wasn’t on the royal payroll anymore. Just because David was a cast off living in the desert didn’t change who God made him to be; a king. He didn’t sink into despair and retire into depression. Instead, he acted as a king and man of God and did what he could with what he had. He used the resources, talent, volunteers and time wisely. He did what he knew how to do; he was fearless about taking on the enemy and he was a shepherd – so he shepherded the men that were drawn to him. He coached the rag tag team into mighty men of valor and took on the enemy every chance he got. This built his endurance so that later, when he got a second chance at the kingdom, he was ready for the challenge. David was always at his best when he was engaged, in the battle, working for the kingdom regardless of his address.
Example No. 3
Keep your eyes on the prize.
Second to Jesus Christ, Paul the Apostle is a character that had immeasurable endurance and perseverance. The secret to his ability to endure through all sorts of hardships was in his vision; his glimpse of heaven. He saw his final destination for just a moment and that impression got him through every trial he faced after. One vision of the good that was coming his way helped him through on-going tough situations, tragic trials and fierce opposition.
Most of us normal humans don’t get knocked off our horse to see heaven open up to us and hear the voice of God speaking. However, we can hear the Lord’s voice through His Word, through time spent with Him and through circumstance if we choose to listen and look for it. When we are reminded about our final destination, about our heavenly home and our royal citizenship, we can receive and experience unexplained and super human endurance in our own situations.
Like our examples of Joshua, David and Saul, we too can break through when most people choose to wind down. We can push through difficulty when the world wants us to quit. We can obtain victory when we seek His face and press into the upward call that God has on our lives. He tells us to run this race with endurance. And then He gives us the key to HOW to run with endurance, “keeping your eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith.”
God may have placed you in a deserted place as part of your endurance training. Don’t complain, but instead embrace His grace, accept the strength that God wants to impart to you and know that all things truly will work together for your good, to those who are called according to His purposes, to those who love God.