He Who Endures...
“But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”
Matthew 24:13 NKJV
It has been a rocky year. A rollercoaster full of highs and lows that have been fighting for the spotlight. A whirlwind of thoughts and emotions. For many, our mental health was tested like never before. Some wrestled with their faith, some lost their way, others turned away completely. A lot of us haven’t felt ourselves or operated at our usual capacity. It’s been work to remain gentle with ourselves and faithful to what we are called to do. Our discipline has been tried and tested. Our devotion tried and tested. Our dedication tried and tested, but we have held on. At the close of this year, I wanted to encourage you to not grow weary. I wanted to encourage you to ENDURE. He who endures to the end shall be saved. Keep holding on. Don’t lose hope. Don’t lose faith. Don’t give up. Don’t fall away.
Many have been saying that they’re ready for 2021 because “2020 was too much.” However, we don’t know what 2021 has in store. I don’t say this to seem pessimistic. I want to caution you to not allow the expectation of a return to “normalcy” to create disappointment and disillusionment in the new year. January 1st is not a reset button. Instead hold fast to what we know to be true and constant, God’s faithfulness. Lean into Him like never before. He has carried you through this year and He will continue to do so in the coming year and years to come. Hold on to the vision He has shown you. Hold on to the promise He gave you. Hold on to the prophecy He spoke to you. Don’t allow what you see and hear now to cause you to lose faith in what God has shown and spoken to you. It will come to pass.
Keep pressing. Keep praying. It’s not about always getting it perfect. It’s okay if you don’t always feel yourself. It’s alright if at times you feel like giving up. Just don’t stop. Don’t allow what’s occurring in this world to break you. Allow it to make your faith stronger in the Lord. Endure and continue to endure to the end.
Well, how do we endure?
We lean more into Christ, submit more to His Spirit and draw from His strength.
We know that with Christ we can do ALL things...Contrary to popular usage, Phil. 4:13 isn’t about gaining strength to lift a couch or accomplish a self-imposed task. It’s really about having the strength to be content in all circumstances. When we have joy in the Lord and focus on Him, we gain the strength to withstand whatever obstacles we face and whatever circumstances rise against us.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 speaks to how those who trust in the Lord are like a tree whose roots reach deep into the water. Though heat and months of drought come, the tree remains unbothered by the circumstances, their leaves remain green and “they go right on producing delicious fruit.” Through months of a pandemic, through social injustice, through corrupt government leadership, we can go on to grow and produce if we are rooted in Christ. We don’t have to be bothered or anxious for anything (Phil. 4:7-8). In Him is all we need. In Him is provision and protection. If 2020 taught us anything it’s that we can’t rely on media, on government, on jobs, on bank accounts, on our own plans. The only dependable constant is the Lord.
May we grow our roots further in Christ and gain the strength to endure the highs and lows.
Please read the following verses. Don’t skip them or skim them. Please read them and be encouraged.
“So now, beloved ones, stand firm, stable, and enduring. Live your lives with an unshakable confidence. We know that we prosper and excel in every season by serving the Lord, because we are assured that our union with the Lord makes our labor productive with fruit that endures.”
1 Corinthians 15:58 TPT
““Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8 NKJV
“The man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence indeed is the Lord, is blessed. He will be like a tree planted by water: it sends its roots out toward a stream, it doesn’t fear when heat comes, and its foliage remains green. It will not worry in a year of drought or cease producing fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8 HCSB
““But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8 NLT
“I pray that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power in the inner man through His Spirit, and that the Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:16-19 HCSB
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV
“Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell Him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ.”
Philippians 4:6-7 TPT
“I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content — whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him Who strengthens me. Still, you did well by sharing with me in my hardship.”
Philippians 4:11-14 HCSB