“Footprints in the sands of time are never made by sitting down.” Perseverance, endurance, and plain ole’ stubborn tenacity are needed to hold on to our hope in the midst of difficulty. If our life’s work will leave behind footprints in the sands of time, it will be because we have striven to go in a direction that is different from the well-traveled road taken by the world.
The Christian life is compared to many things in the word of God. Surrounded by “so great a cloud of witness,” it is a race in which we must “lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us” and run with our eyes fixed upon Jesus, “the author and perfecter of faith” (Heb. 12:1-2). The Christian life is much like a race. But, it is not so much a sprint as it is a marathon. Speed is not required so much as stamina. Therefore, we have a great need for endurance.
Our ability to remain in the struggle—to keep on keeping on—is measured by the strength we receive from the Lord, not by the strength we receive from men. God is the one who gives perseverance and encouragement (Rom. 15:5). While it is true that God may use others as sources of encouragement to help us develop greater endurance, God is the only one who can provide the spiritual sustenance we need to finish the race.
One way God provides endurance is through suffering. Most of us would prefer another method. But there are no shortcuts to endurance. Those who compete in marathons know the importance of training. A person doesn’t just decide the run the grueling 26-mile course on the spur of the moment. Training is needed to gradually build up endurance to complete the course.
The trials and tribulations which come our way in this life have a way of helping us develop spiritual endurance. By turning to God for strength and learning from what we suffer, we can develop a stronger and deeper character, one that will see us through to the end of life’s journey.
As we run the race, our perseverance is inspired by hope (1 Thess. 1:3). The hope of heaven is a grand and glorious hope, one that will motivate and inspire us to endure whatever hardships or difficulties come our way. We fix our eyes on Jesus. He is our goal. To be with Him is our destiny. In the meantime, we must hold to the course that is set before us, never giving up but always keeping our trust in Him.
Greenbrier church of Christ