January 29, 2005
Endurance in the Race
The Christian life is an awesome journey that brings fulfillment and contentment, along with great rewards. Of course, if someone asked me about the Christian life, I would also have to say that it is full of hardship, difficulty, misunderstanding, rejection, doubt, and failure. It is not all pain, suffering, and heartache, but neither is it all happiness. More than likely, someone is going to ask, "Why would I want to be Christian if it's going to hurt?"
The simple answer is that we will never be what God intends until we trust Jesus Christ as our Savior. No amount of riches, power, or success will satisfy us like an intimate relationship with God. Becoming a Christian does not suddenly dry up all the present or future suffering in our lives. The difference is that we now know the loving Father who has absolute control over all we endure. He promises to love us through it all and care for us. And He promises to limit every trial so that we can bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
With each trial, we mature in our walk. While none of us likes pain, difficulty produces the character qualities that enable us to stay on the path God chooses. We will not become discouraged to the point of quitting if we respond with endurance. The result of endurance is that we learn to look above the things that distract us - like criticism, rejection, and setbacks - and we increasingly find ourselves able to keep our eyes focused on Jesus.
On Jan. 2, 2005, Dr. Stanley begins a ten-week series entitled "Landmines in the Pathway of the Believer" that identifies and helps you disarm the spiritual landmines in your life. For more information, including television listings and airtimes, visit www.landminesofthebeliever.com.
For more about this topic and many more, be sure to visit the "Exploring the Bible" section of intouch.org. http://www.intouch.org/myintouch/exploring/index_76118.html