Have you ever noticed the amount of physical endurance you need in order to stay strong until the end of the race, or until the end of the game? Physical endurance is something that you work hard to build up, and can also be lost in a matter of a little “time off.” Students practice hard, and then at the end of practice run sprints or “suicides” in order to build up endurance. Runners run tempo runs in order to build up endurance for the long race. After all, we run to win, not fade out in the last 500 yards!
A strong physical endurance means that your body has the ability to sustain long periods of exercise. When you begin exercising, or training, you are not able to endure as much heavy aerobic activity as you are a few weeks into your training. Marathon training programs begin with just a few miles, then mileage is added each week. Each time you train, your muscles become stronger, and your body is able to take in more oxygen in order to sustain you longer. Physical obstacles are overcome easily when your body is strong, however building physical endurance is tough! It takes a determined commitment from you. This commitment takes time out of our schedule for training, in order to reach your goal. Actually, you can compare your Spiritual endurance to you physical endurance…the race is just a little different.
“Therefore, do not throw away your confidence which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.” Hebrews 10:35-36
The Greek word for endurance is hypomone. It means steadfastness, constancy, and describes a man who does not swerve from his deliberate purpose. Hypomone also means a patient enduring, sustaining, or perseverance! We need Spiritual endurance in order to persevere through the trials in our lives. So how do we get it? Where does this endurance come from?
Endurance training begins with knowing who you are in Christ. Once you realize that God sent His Son for you, you may begin on your journey of Spiritual endurance. Then you must commit to your training. It’s not easy to spend time studying His word each day. You must be determined to find out who God is, and set aside a time to get to know Him. Sacrifices of other things that occupied your time before this commitment will have to be made. When you give yourself time to get to know Him you begin to look up, instead of looking out all of the time, and you begin your Spiritual endurance training. Fixing our eyes on Him allows for us to not, “look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on the things which cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever” 2 Corinthians 4:18.
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
We all have a race to run. Our race is called life. Are you ready to run it with endurance? There is nothing you are going through that is bigger than the pain and agony Jesus endured on the cross. Are you ready? Let the training begin…there is no time like the present… and for that, I am grateful!