Thessalonians 1: 3-10 – “3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.”
Let us pick up where we left off yesterday, at the end of verse 3:
“and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” My hope is in you, like the definition of faith (being the substance of things hoped for). So Lord you are the substance of my faith. Substance – I just used a search engine to get the definition: “the real physical matter of which a thing consists and which has a tangible, solid presence.” I believe and you are real physical matter, tangible, solid, presence – GLORY!!! AMEN!!! Let me reread all that a couple more times, because I cannot even give words to how good and deep this can flow.
** ** **
I just reread a few times and I stumble over the word “endurance” which I wish I could skip. It has been a year since the death of my loved one – and me beginning to turn to you, Jesus. A year of me crying out. A year of me being more and more bold, bringing more and more requests and intercessions – a year of waiting for the fruition of this “endurance”. Heavenly father, as I learn to speak with you, learn you as “my daddy”, Abba Father, and learn how to share intercessory prayer with Jesus is has only been 8 months of enduring and crying out to you on behalf of my loved ones daily. 8 months isn’t as long as a year. But it was only last month the pastor preached on intercession, the day before that I began looking it up on my own – so maybe it’s only been a month? And as I look at it that way, I suppose I am strong enough to have endurance as you provide me the grace to endure.
Hebrews 12:1-2 “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, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
The dictionary online defines endurance as: the power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way.
When I was in middle school and high school I ran long distance races. I suppose what I was running from is another post for another time. My point is that as a distance runner, you sprint out a very short distance then steady your pace. You focus on your job: one foot in front of the other at a certain stride, in a certain rhythmic time (that works best for your body as you have practiced over and over again) and with a certain breathing pattern. The finish line is promised. You know how it ends if you stay focused and look ahead. That is how I endured those races.
Thank you for reading, I appreciate it. I pray you and I have endurance, produced by faith, to finish the things we have started in Christ Jesus.
“Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.” Proverbs 4:25