You’re going to make it. Just hold on.
Things you tell yourself when the going gets tough and your resolve is wearing thin.
Sometimes, life can be just too much, you know? Your finances are tight, there’s not enough time in the day or the week to get things done, and your bones begin to ache from all the stress. Maybe you’re tired from work, family drama, or just life. Maybe you’re tired of hearing about all the negative things in the news. Maybe you’re tired of waiting for things to get better.
Sometimes, you just want to lie down, escape, forget about all the stress, struggles, and negative news. Sometimes, you wonder how you’ll get through this.
When will I get to the end of this situation?
When will things finally get better?
How does one endure to the end?
Whether it’s life issues you’re struggling with or anxiously awaiting the day when the Lord calls us home so we can finally be free from this sin-sick world, here are three keys that may help you in unlocking your ability to endure to the end.
1. Though you may be tired, maintain your walk with God every day.
When I was without a full-time job for over a year, the waiting was getting pretty tiresome. There’d be days where I’d feel more confident than others, but on the days where I felt the deadline getting closer and the fear of being jobless with no insurance setting in, I often just wanted to take a nap, watch or read something, or do ANYTHING to take my mind off my fears.
What I discovered was the only thing that gave me peace and strength to overcome that situation was when I met with God each day and dove deeper into the Word.
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:6-7 (KJV)
Keeping up our prayer time then allows God to fill us with His peace that, in turn, keeps us going.
When you’re waiting for a blessing or just trying to get through a trial, perhaps the most important key to enduring that time is keeping up your relationship with God every day. It seems simple, but often our flesh needs simple reminders to get us back on the right track.
Often, my flesh wanted a quick and easy distraction, but those quick and easy distractions didn’t give me strength. They didn’t increase my faith in God. So, I studied Job. I read through the epistles. I made a point to set my phone aside and out of sight during my prayer time in order to get closer to God. And during that time, I grew. I developed my relationship with God.
Through prayer and reading the Word, we increase in the strength we need to endure.
2. Though you may feel overwhelmed, keep up your church attendance.
As my childhood pastor and lifelong spiritual leader Bishop Eddings has always said, “Church attendance is critical to survival.”
God never intended His church to be made up of scattered saints who never congregate together. It isn’t His Will for us to go to church only when we feel like it and to skip service and stay home when we “just can’t deal.”
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”Hebrews 10:25 (KJV)
As we get closer to Christ’s return, we must be committed to attending church even more.
Sure, we’re human. I’ve certainly woken up on Sunday mornings and wished I could sleep in and not have to dress up and go anywhere that day. For many people, when they have a lot on their plate, attending church is the first thing they bump off their list.
But as the song says, “I need you, you need me. We’re all a part of God’s body.” We need each other to survive. When we fellowship with the saints of God, when we worship together, pray together, and glean from the Word together, we increase in strength.
Instead of skipping church when life has you overwhelmed, get to church early to pray with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Sometimes, going to church and fellowshipping with your church family can be the healthy distraction you need to get through a difficult situation.
3. Though you may want to isolate yourself, confide in a friend or mentor.
Trying to endure financial, personal, or spiritual struggles alone will deplete your strength and wear thin whatever resolve you have left.
We must talk to God and read His Word, yes, but God doesn’t want us to be without His church. We must keep up our church attendance and fellowship with the saints, yes, but even that may not be quite enough to help us endure a trial.
Tell someone you trust what you’re going through and ask them to help pray for you about it.
This doesn’t come easy to introverted people like me who prefer to “suffer in silence,” as they say. The longer I was without a job and the more rejection emails I received, the more desperate and miserable I became. Though I was keeping up my devotional time and attending church, I needed a bit more help.
Finally, I mustered up the courage to reach out to a trusted mentor and spiritual leader whose advise and kind words and prayers encouraged me. Suddenly, I had a new confidence and assurance that everything was going to be all right. I believed again that I was going to make it. I would endure.
Find someone–a friend or mentor–to support you. If you have no one else, you should definetly always go to your pastor for guidance and prayer, and even if you do have someone, don’t forsake the importance of seeking wise counsel from your pastor.
So, if you’re reading this and feeling weary of an internal struggle or external pressures, you will endure if you do not give up.
Pray. Study the Word. Go to church. Talk to someone.
Endurance requires daily commitment to resisting distraction and defeat.
So, then, how committed are you to enduring until the end?