Recently I have been writing on topics such as perseverance, opposition and vigilance. My thoughts this time have turned to endurance. According to one dictionary the definition of endurance is “the fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way.” As I read that I was reminded of my days of U S Marine Corps boot camp and the physical and mental endurance it took to survive a few weeks of that program. The Merriam Webster dictionary definition of endurance is “the ability to withstand hardship or adversity; especially: the ability to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity”. Dictionary.com defines endurance as “the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina”. Another source gives a simple definition of “the ability to continue doing something for a long time”. I know many covenant keepers can identify with that last one.
We have several friends that have dealt with cancer or are currently dealing with it. One CK friend is having a hard time mentally and the stress and strain has impacted their restored marriage relationship. The commitment to restoration is still there but as in any marriage there are conflicts and Satan is unceasing in trying to sow division and doubt. So we have been having “spirited” conversations about covenant, vows such as “for better or for worse”, and other topics. We see this as our time to coach and encourage and help build that endurance that the CK must have. Despite the physical outcome of the cancer progression – and the CK is firmly in the belief that God works miracles – the mental endurance to allow that believer to carry on is vital. They still have a story to tell and the witness of their restoration is going to touch someone who has not yet heard of it.
We recently spoke with a covenant keeper who was expressing despair over the length of their stand with no visible changes in their spouse and often questioning the value of a position which most of those surrounding the covenant keeper do not understand or express outrage that the covenant keeper is not “getting on with their life”. Why don’t those people see that standing on covenant marriage vows is a more valid way of getting on with their life than the life style of chasing “happiness” by trying to “find someone else better”? Our encouragement for this covenant keeper was and is for all covenant keepers – endurance. Satan lies to you constantly and watches for the smallest chink in your spiritual armor.
Recently in a conversation with a covenant keeper the scriptures in Romans 7 and 8 were raised as a topic. The covenant keeper, who was going through tough times mentally and physically, was focused on Romans 8: 28-31 which tells us:
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Those are great scriptures and gave both comfort and hope to the covenant keeper. Do yourself a favor and go read both chapters seven and eight of Romans. If there is any mental exercise that can help build endurance it is these two chapters. Go do your scriptural workout routine!