I’m at my in-laws this weekend celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary! Wow! That’s almost unheard of anymore. I know that in their marriage they’ve had to endure a lot. My father-in-law is a World War II veteran. He had polio in his twenties. They have lost children. They’ve endured. I asked them what they attribute to the longevity of their marriage. They said it was because the focus of their marriage was Jesus Christ and He’s made all the difference.
As a church planter in Miami, there have been many times where I’ve been discouraged. Jonah was discouraged because he didn’t want the people in Nineveh to repent. I get discouraged because the people in my city don’t repent and turn to God. And even when they do, so many of them turn away from him again and again. I have felt like I couldn’t keep doing this, but I do for the same reason; Jesus Christ. He’s called me to this, he loves my city more than I do, so I gotta keep on keeping on, until I die or he changes the order. He makes all the difference.
Paul said to Timothy to pursue, among other things, endurance (1 Tim 6:11). When I think about endurance it just sounds hard. I’d much rather pursue other things. I’d rather pursue ease, comfort, and fun. But, life’s just not that way. It is hard at times and we have to endure. The next thing that Paul tells Tim after he tells him to endure is,1 Timothy 6:12 (NIV) Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called… The faith we are called to takes effort. Not for the approval of God, because through Jesus Christ his grace means he loves us not because we work for it, but because he just does.
The life of faith can be hard at times. God requires us to do things that are beyond us; that require his movement and strength in our lives and situations. That’s how faith grows. It is at those time we must fight the good fight of trusting God not yourself and enduring. Reggie White said, “God places the heaviest burden on those who can carry its weight.” I’d add that “can carry its weigh in the strength of God.” It’s a faith thing; a faith fight.
For those who are going through tough times let me encourage you that God will do something great in and around your life, if you endure. Don’t give up. Keep on fighting. Endure. Keep focused on Jesus Christ! He makes all the difference.