Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4 NLT
I’ll be honest, I like goals. I like being able to complete things. I am not really good with endurance. To me, endurance says, “You will never finish this.” It kinda freaks me out to not be able to check the task off my list. I realize this is a control issue, a little obsessive compulsive, but it is where I am at. The definition of endurance is:
the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions;
When I think of endurance, I immediately think of ‘running.’ I am the girl who refused to run in physical education class. in grade school. I walked the running part of presidential fitness test, 13+ minute mile. I decided one time to do a 5K. I started the couch to 5K program. I didn’t finish the program. I completed the 5K, I walked it. Then I stopped walking for fitness the rest of the year. I have never had an inclination to run, I have no endurance physically because I have never opted to give it the chance to grow.
I am also not good at endurance when it comes to dieting either. I have been working to lose weight for two decades. I know the things I should do. I know the right food groups, combinations, and serving sizes. I know the right amount of calories for intake to lose weight. I start with great discipline and success. I am not good at continuing. I tire quickly. I fold under stress. I give up under adversity way too easy.
Yet I still believe that endurance is something that can be grown because my spiritual walk points to that truth. I look at my life and can see how God grew my faith. Small trials repeated frequently. As I changed my response in small trials, the trials grew, but my response started to match. He has given me the ability to endure through trials I thought would be short-lived.
Twenty years later I am still standing on a Word and vision given to me. My stand is not always perfect. There are times the thought crossed my mind “is this really with it?” The answer when it comes down to it “in this moment probably not, but eternally absolutely.”
God has been faithful in the smaller trials where my faith has been tested. And even some pretty big ones for this purpose, to increase my spiritual endurance. Not just so I can look back and say “I made it.” But so that in standing, my life will bring Him glory and draw others to Him. I can’t say I count trials joy yet, but I do have the ability to see trials and tests as what they are. I can see even while going through them, there is a deeper purpose. Regardless of what the circumstances look like, God has a bigger purpose and in the end it will grow my faith and bring Him glory. I just have to keep growing in endurance.
This blog is part of a #Write31Days series on growth. 31 Days is an online writing challenge, where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day.