Matthew 24:13 tells us, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” There is an art to enduring to the end. According to Strong’s Concordance, to endure means to hold one’s ground in conflict, bear up against adversity, hold out under stress, stand firm, persevere under pressure, wait calmly and courageously. Endurance is the mark of a winner.
Spiritual warfare is not for the faint of heart. It takes training to develop endurance. Our trials and tribulations in life become our training ground by providing resistance training for our spirit and soul. Jesus “endured the cross.” Why? “For the joy that was set before Him” (see Heb. 12:2). His endurance fulfilled His destiny to open up the way to the Father and to unseat the ruler of this age. It brought Him joy to finish the task of the cross for us. Thank you, Jesus, for your endurance!
God has destined each of us from the beginning of time with purpose. Our lives have meaning. What we have to contribute is important to the kingdom. If we do not complete our purpose, then those around us lose out because our portion of kingdom work is not complete.
We see this principle in the life of the apostle Paul. From prison he penned:
Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear. (Phil. 1:12-14, NASB)
Paul recognized that his endurance was a window for the kingdom to advance and would have valuable effects on those watching him. Paul’s joy came because what he lived for (the manifestation of Christ) was actually happening.
In 2 Timothy 2:1-10, Paul says:
You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules. The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned. For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.
We must not refuse the processes that reveal the purpose of God in our life. Our endurance allows others to obtain the salvation found in Christ with eternal glory. Endurance is a divine attribute of Christ given to us. Be encouraged. We are empowered to endure!
Listen to this episode of Occupying Force on the Charisma Podcast Network for more on the force of endurance.
Want more? Check out the Wilsons’ book Preparing for Battle: Developing the Lifestyle of a Victorious Prayer Warrior.
Richard and Kimberly Wilson, executive directors of Watchmen Arise International, serve as corporate trainers of societal transforming Christians. Together they co-host the Occupying Force podcast, co-authored Preparing for Battle: Developing the Lifestyle of a Victorious Prayer Warrior (available in Spanish), and Victorious Prayer Warrior Bootcamp Online Train the Trainer Intensive. They are popular speakers who activate regional teams and individuals alike in the areas of spiritual management, civil engagement and transformed communities. To find out more about the Wilsons and interactive online training opportunities visit watchmenarise.com.
This article was featured on www.charismamag.com on May 4, 2021.