Life-Everlasting.net

Running with endurance

Some brief notes

(This is a 45 minute sermon - could be run as two)

But thou, O man of God, flee these things, and pursue righteousness, piety, faith, love, endurance [patience], meekness of spirit. 1 Timothy 6:11 (DNT)

For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: Hebrews 10:36 (NKJV)

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV)

Introduction

We are on a journey through a hostile world, a world who hates God, and a world who gnash their teeth and rage against the creator of the universe. The departure from a close communion with the Lord Jehovah in the Garden of Eden, due to sin, has placed man in a position of downward decline. The board way only leads to destruction, the narrow way, although ever upward is to everlasting life. It is on this path that we need to examine endurance.

Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, 1 Peter 2:11 (NKJV)

This path has been characterised as a race to run (1 Cor. 9:24; Heb. 12:1; 2 Tim. 4:7), where one needs to endure to the end, having a goal and reward when we reach it. Because the condition of the world (2 Tim. 3:12-13), the Christian life is sometimes characterised in the Bible as a struggle or an athletic contest to be fought (1 Thess. 2:2; 1 Tim. 4:9; 6:12; 2 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 10:32). Christians need to labour or toil or work and the path is not easy because to be proven we need to be tested (1 Cor. 3:8; 15:58; 2 Cor. 11:27; 1 Thess. 2:9; 2 Thess. 3:8) with trials (James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 1:6; 4:12). The testing during our passageway, should transform us into the image of Christ (2 Cor. 3:18).

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV)

However, this takes endurance.

What is Endurance?

Dictionary

  • Endurance is the habit or power of enduring
  • An ability to withstand prolong strain
  • To endue is to tolerate, undergo pain etc, submit to, bear to do, remain, last

You have heard of the perseverance [endurance] of Job.. James 5:11 (NKJV)

Scripture

(Endurance is all of the above, and connected with:

Perseverance:

"A steadfast pursuit of an aim, constant persistence, continuance state of grace."

"Be still, and know that I am God ." (Psalm 46:10).

Perseverance is more than endurance. It is endurance combined with absolute assurance and certainty that what we are looking for is going to happen.

Perseverance means more than just hanging on, which may be only exposing our fear of letting go and falling.

Perseverance is our supreme effort of refusing to believe that our hero is going to be conquered.

Our fear is that the very things our Lord stood for-love, justice, forgiveness, and kindness among men-will not win out in the end and will represent an unattainable goal for us.

Then there is the call to spiritual perseverance. A call not to hang on and do nothing, but to work deliberately, knowing with certainty that God will never be defeated.

If our hopes seem to be experiencing disappointment right now, it simply means that they are being purified.

But one of the greatest stresses in life is the stress of waiting for God. He brings fulfilment, "because you have kept My command to persevere ." (Revelation 3:10).

Continue to persevere spiritually.

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; Romans 5:3 (NKJV)

Patience

In Greek two words are translated 'patience' in the New Testament. In James this particular word (the verb makrothumeo, the noun makrothumia), is translated patience: James 5:7,8.

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. 8You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. James 5:7- 8 (NKJV)

However, it can also be translated longsuffering

The man who is 'longsuffering' (makrothumia) does not suffer himself easily to be provoked by injurious persons, or to be angered, 2 Timothy 4:2.

Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2 (NKJV)

The man who is 'patient' (hupomone), though under great trials, bears up, and does not lose heart or courage, Romans 5:3; 2 Corinthians 1:6.

Examples

Jesus Christ

The Lord never changes, He endures for ever and His ways or paths never chances

His counsel - ways never change

The counsel of the Lord stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations. Psalm 33:11 (NKJV)

His precepts [commandments] are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness. Psalm 111:8 (KJV)

He Himself is from the beginning and will be to the end

But the Lord shall endure forever. Psalm 9:7 (NKJV)

His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, And His dominion shall endure to the end. Daniel 6:26

Elijah

Prayed and the rain was withheld for three years as He waited for King Ahab to turn to the Lord, or for the Lord to deal with him

Joe Simpson - inner strength without God

In 1985, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates set out to climb the forbidding 21,000-foot Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. Following a successful three-and-a-half-day ascent, disaster struck. Simpson fell and broke several bones in his right leg. His lower leg pushed through his knee joint, crippling him. In freezing conditions Yates lowered Simpson on a 100 m length of rope, made up of two 50 m lengths, via a series of belays. At one point Simpson, out of site of Yates, fell over a ledge, and swinging in mid-air could not place-himself into a position to slacken the rope enough to allow the knot to be dealt with. After an agonising period, Yates cut the rope, himself about to be pulled from the mountain. Simpson fell into a crevasse. Then by shear will-power, mind of matter, Joe hauled himself out of the crevasse, down the mountain, across a rocky moraine strewn valley and finally collapse just near the camp, where Yates found him. He believes categorically claimed that his salvation was by his strength alone. There is no God.

Elements

1. Focus

One goal
Earnest, hearty, uncompromising, thorough-going, whole-hearted, fervent in spirit.
Patient (and standing firm) James 5:8 - because the Lord is coming

Watch, stand fast [endure] in the faith, be brave, be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13 (NKJV)

2. Persevere

Job persevered (James 5)
Stand firm [NIV} = stand still [KJ vers] (Ex 14:13) and see the salvation of the Lord = steadfast

3. Habit

It must become natural to stand-firm, to press on

4. Power

Endurance requires spiritual food

  • Don't forsake the meeting together
  • Don't forsake pray
  • Don't forsake time with the Lord - the Torah demands one hour per day.

Power is in the Holy Spirit.

5. Remaining

Standing firm
Throw off every hindrance
The things we read, watch, listen to

6. Tribulation

Suffering (Rev 1:9)

7. To have hope

Proving of faith works endurance (James)

8. Diligence (2 Peter) which leads to endurance which leads to godliness

Kept from the world - kept from receiving the mark of the beast (Rev 14:9)
Self control (Gal 5:23)
Does not get angry

10. Will be rewarded (Rev 3:9)

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." (Psalm 30:5)

Endure what?

The wretchedness of this world

  • The hardness in life causes some to believe the broad road is easy, but leads it to destruction.
  • Adversity – the way of the world, is not the way of God, indeed they rage against God, so expect the world to rage against us.
  • Perils [difficulties] – as Paul could write – his life was:

in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 2 Corinthians 11:26 (NKJV)

In the last days it will be a time of peril. Surgeon writes "Christ exempts you from sin, but not from sorrow. Remember that, and expect to suffer."

  • The Lord discipline those He loves. We are called to endure His chastening, for it will strength us – knowing He does it as a Father chastens a son (Heb 12:7)
  • One another

with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, Ephesians 4:2 (NKJV)

Why endure?

To have hope

The hope is the essence of our calling - Christ risen from the dead, returning to claim His as his own.

For as many things as have been written before have been written for our instruction, that through endurance [patience] and through encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4 (DNT)

So we lack nothing

knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:3 through James 1:4 (NKJV)

strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience [endurance] and longsuffering with joy; Colossians 1:11 (NKJV)

God is looking for endurance - in this He commends the church at Ephesus

"I know your works, your labour, your [endurance] patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; Revelation 2:2 (NKJV)

And the church at Thyatira

19"I know your works, love, service, faith, and your [endurance] patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. Revelation 2:19 (NKJV)

Blessings flow from endurance

Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord-that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. James 5:11 (NKJV)

Christ's coming

Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience [of waiting] of Christ. 2 Thessalonians 3:5 (NKJV)

Our endurance needs to be matched with the endurance that belongs to Christ - the endurance that was evidenced in His sufferings on earth and that He is demonstrating even now as He waits for His enemies to be made a footstool for His feet (Heb. 12:2; 10:13).

We await His coming - this takes endurance.

Reward

10Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Revelation 3:10 (NKJV)

The test

Put through fire (Num 31:23)

each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 14If anyone's work which he has built on it [the firm foundation] endures, he will receive a reward. 1 Corinthians 3:13-14 (NKJV)

How to endure

In the way we conduct ourselves

  • We need to be diligent – this is commitment. Sunday only Christianity is not sufficient - the whole house of God suffers if this occur.

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 2 Peter 1:5 through 2 Peter 1:6 (NKJV)

For now we live, if you stand fast [firm] in the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 3:8 (NKJV)

In Christ (John 15:4)

  • Need a strong root – the seed that fell on stony ground developed no root and only "endured for a short time" (Mark 4:17)

In purity

  • We need to be pure in heart, pure in action, pure in motivation.
  • Our heart attitude needs to be examined in each action we take.

Be pure (Prov 20:11)

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1 (NKJV)

Not weighted down

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV)

  • Like a good soldier (2 Tim 2:3), enduring hardship.
  • Without being weighted down – no runner can endure if he is weighted down with extra clothes, and no Christian can endure being weighted down with the cares of this world. We learn from the parable of the sower that the "cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches" is what chokes us so that we become unfruitful (Mark 4:19). It actually chokes the word so that it becomes unfruitful, because it is from the word we are instructed on endurance.

For the sake of those in the congregation

  • This is our focus, we endure because of the congregation (assembly). That is, we put ourselves out for the sake of those in the congregation.

In one spirit, one mind

.stand fast [firm] in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, Philippians 1:27b (NKJV)

  • A double minded person is lost.
  • Mixing worldly pleasure with pursuit of Godliness does not work.
  • Serving money or God – you can only do one or the other.
  • Working together.

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, Romans 15:5 (NIV)

Practical aspects

Hold to the teachings of the Bible

Hold to the teachings, or directions or traditions (margin) [actually precepts or the law]

15So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. 2 Thessalonians 2:15 (NIV)

Further, we need to be standing firm, not being swayed by every breeze that comes, drifting with this or that new idea, but standing firm on the solid foundation of the gospel as laid by the Apostles, Christ himself.

By standing firm you will gain life. Luke 21:19 (NIV)

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3 - 5 (NKJV)

Keep Gods commands

Kept the commandments.

"Because you have kept My command to persevere ." (Revelation 3:10).

As Surgeon could write "But one of the greatest stresses in life is the stress of waiting for God. He brings fulfilment, "because you have kept My command to persevere ." (Revelation 3:10). Continue to persevere spiritually."

Read the bible

  • Daily
  • With diligence
  • Line upon line
  • With meditation
  • In prayer

In self control

A long-distance runners greatest foil is the mind. Stamina comes from the mind. Self-control is the essence of any endurance runner.

We are exhorted to be in self-control - with gentleness

Gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:23

  • Controlling the tongue (James)
  • Controlling the mind (Romans 8:6,7)
  • Controlling the passions (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4)
  • Controlling anger (Colossians 3:8)
  • Dealing with pride (Proverbs 16:18)
  • Dealing with temptation.
  • Fleeing evil - fornication, idolatry, which is covetousness (1 Tim 6:11)

Pray for it as Paul did

  • Pray always

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints-Ephesians 6:18 (NKJV)

  • Pray meaningful - with thought, not with repetitious words, empty
  • Pray with earnestness
  • Pray with knowledge of Christ in your hearts
  • Pray with an attitude of wanting to be directed

Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience [endurance] of Christ. 2 Thessalonians 3:5 (NKJV)

 

 

David L Simon
March 2005 (GB)
Running with endurance - March 2005 GB