Spiritual Endurance

Romans 5:3-5 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Do you ever grow weary in the Christian life? We all do. What we do when we grow weary, reveals our faith. Paul wrote in Romans 5, about the results of being justified by faith. When you are declared righteous in Jesus, God sustains you regardless of what the circumstances of life are.

Steven D. Mathewson, recounted the following story. “Jon Krakauer cleared the ice from his oxygen mask, hunched a shoulder against the wind, and straddled the summit of Mount Everest. It was 1:17 PM on May 10th, 1996. Krakauer, an accomplished climber and journalist, had not slept in 57 hours. He had not eaten much more than a bowl of ramen soup and a handful of peanut M&M’s in three days. Still, he had reached the top of the Earth’s tallest peak—29,028 feet. In his oxygen deprived stupor, he had no way of knowing that storm clouds forming below would turn into a vicious blizzard that would claim the lives of five fellow climbers. Yet he knew his adventure was hardly finished.”

In his book Into Thin Air, Krakauer describes what he felt: “Reaching the top of Everest is supposed to trigger a surge of intense elation; against long odds, after all, I had just attained a goal I’d coveted since childhood. But the summit was really only the halfway point. Any impulse I might have felt towards self-congratulation was extinguished by the overwhelming apprehension about the long, dangerous descent that lay ahead.” (Source: The Art of Old Testament Narrative- Baker Academic, 2021, p. 107).

It is not unusual to find ourselves the most exhausted spiritually when we reach the mountaintops. Our tendency is to think when we reach the mountaintops of life that we can take a rest, and the most difficult part is over. The reality is, after the mountaintops are the valleys. If we rely on our strength rather than God’s, we will be discouraged and defeated.

God provides what we need for spiritual endurance! Paul wrote that we can rejoice in our sufferings. Suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. God’s love is poured out abundantly through the Holy Spirit. Each virtue builds upon the other.

How are we able to spiritually endure? We are able to spiritually endure only by the grace of God. The good work that God begins in, he will also finish. If your faith is in Jesus, your position is secure. If your faith is in Jesus, the power of God in your life is sufficient. If your faith is in Jesus, the promises of God are sure. Whatever you are going through, God will see you through and you will know Him better as a result of your experience. Don’t give in and don’t give up. Keep pressing on!