But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Matthew 24:13)When we think of endurance, we usually take it to mean "hang in there". Dictionary.com even defines it as "bearing pain, hardships." However, "to endure" as given in the Word is much more than that. Notice what it says in Matthew 24. God's endurance brings salvation!
But give attention to yourselves, for fear that your hearts become over-full of the pleasures of food and wine, and the cares of this life, (Luke 21:34 BBE)Lately, I have felt like I was "over-full" of cares. Having lost all interest in my normal pursuits, I just seem to want to let life drift me by. More than once I have asked God, "What's wrong with me?" In Mark 4, I find the answer. Here, Jesus was telling the parable of the seed and the sower. After describing different types of soil, Jesus gives the reaction of the seed to each.
And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. (Mark 4:16-17)Very plainly, I have let the garden of my life become full of stones. I equate each these stones to various troubles. Perhaps one is a particular worry and another an offense. Knowingly or unknowingly, I have placed each stone, each care, on top of what was good soil until my seeds can no longer take root, not being able to find the depth they need.
When my husband and I built our house, a load of dirt was trucked in to fill around the foundation. As this dirt was spread, it could be immediately seen that it was full of hand-sized white rocks. There were rocks everywhere! Well, after we had moved in, my husband became determined to plant some grass. We were both tired of being surrounded by bare soil. But he knew that first he'd have to remove the rocks. I can tell you many a day was spent digging and scratching those rocks out of the soil! He worked very hard to remove as many as possible because he knew the grass would not grow where the rocks were.
In a similar manner is the soil of our heart. We usually want to skip over clearing the soil, planting the grass, and even watering it with the Word, and get right to having the field of grass. But having a nice lawn requires endurance! Plants will not grow without proper care. A good gardener does anything that will promote the health of the plants. He endures expecting good results.
Yet still, endurance is even better that! James 5:11 says, "Behold, we count them happy which endure..." Wow! Endurance is not sitting by while "the cares of this life" begin to choke us and we just put up with it all. (Matthew 13:22) No, while we endure, we are happy, and in the end we are delivered, protected, healed, and preserved. (G4982, Strong's Exhaustive Concordance) That is a far better definition of endurance!
Suzanne Williams Photography
Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.