The Call to Endurance
Open Your Bible
Hebrews 12:1-13, Romans 12:18-21, 1 Timothy 2:5-6
BY Guest Writer
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 12:1-13, Romans 12:18-21, 1 Timothy 2:5-6
Jesus invited His followers to take up their crosses and follow Him. From the outset of His ministry, He wanted us to know that the Christian life is not free from struggle. The writer of Hebrews encourages believers to “strengthen your tired hands and weakened knees” (Hebrews 12:12). Tired hands and weakened knees are not the result of a life on cruise control; they are the result of labor, opposition, and striving.
Some of us may be all too familiar with this reality. Through trial and tribulation, we’ve become well aware that the way of Jesus isn’t always the smoothest path. Still, in times of plenty there is a tendency to brush over the hardships of faith and tough teachings of Scripture. In a comfortable season of life, we might be tempted to believe that our work as a “good Christian” means that God will bless everything we put our hands to. We can forget that walking in the way of Jesus is not without suffering and that, in Jesus, even our suffering has a redemptive purpose.
Listen to this encouragement from Hebrews 12:
“Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? … Furthermore, we had human fathers discipline us, and we respected them. Shouldn’t we submit even more to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time based on what seemed good to them, but he does it for our benefit, so that we can share his holiness. No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (vv.7-11).
Scripture is clear: God uses everything—struggle and hardship included—for the believer’s good (Romans 8:28). When we assume our way should be easy easy, we forget that Jesus promised the opposite (John 16:33). When we see all pain as a problem to avoid, we miss the opportunity to “rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope” (Romans 5:3–4). We miss the opportunity to become more like Christ.
It’s tempting to go through our places of struggle alone, not wanting God or anyone else to see us at a low point. But when we recognize dark days as an expected part of a life of faith, we can look to the One who has walked this road before. Jesus, our victor and champion, suffered betrayal, persecution, and excruciating death. A “man of sorrows” (Isaiah 53:3), He understands our pain. And He is with us through every hardship when we trust in Him.
When your time of suffering comes, look to Jesus.
Kaitie Stoddard is a professional counselor who recently relocated from Chicago to Colorado with her husband. She has her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and is passionate about helping couples and families find healing in their relationships. On any given weekend you’re likely to find Kaitie snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains, checking out new restaurants with friends, or catching up on her favorite Netflix and podcast series.