Day 24

The Call to Endurance

from the Hebrews reading plan


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.

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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.

Post Comments (51)

51 thoughts on "The Call to Endurance"

  1. Emily Dick says:

    I don’t struggle with enemies and struggles but I have spinal damage and ongoing disease that causes stress and pain most days. I believe this is part of my struggle and that it can somehow bring God glory. This kind of scripture provides me with encouragement to always keep going and really helps me move forward.

  2. Caitlyn Smedley says:

    I’ve had a hard time making this connection between scripture and real life. It wasn’t until I read Hebrews 12 and Romans 12 together that I truly get it. It is HARD to live this life for Christ and to follow in the path he has set for us. I currently have a lot of baggage to unpack since becoming a true believer. Working through that baggage is so so hard. I’ve been living a life that was comfortable in my sin. Most notably in my relationships. I am a life long grudge holder who admittedly takes solace in handing punishment to those who have wronged me. Y’all, I cannot tell you how hard it is for me to change this and I. Am. Struggling. I have a miserable relationship with my brother and sister in law with 3 years of bad history between us. I want so badly to move on, forgive, show love, but my selfish ways are holding on to what’s comfortable. I’m praying constantly for God to work on my heart, but I know I have to do the hard work too. Even when it doesn’t FEEL good, God IS good and he is trying to grow my endurance.

    1. Ginny Lippincott says:

      Caitlyn, what you say resonates with me as well. Through this whole study the Lord has laid it on my heart to forgive a hard relationship and not hold a grudge or bitterness. It’s far from easy and I just want to hold my ground but over and over I am humbled. Know that someone else is with you!

  3. Ineke Knot says:

    Based on this Hebrews study I wrote this entry in my diary two days ago, that I want to share as further encouragement:
    “When we’ve drifted away, we get comfortable in our old situations again, or in our suburban lives. My weakness is comfort. When I get comfortable I start fearing the unknown, or start seeing the unknown as a threat. Where, in reality, the unknown is an opportunity to learn.
    Whenever we feel that fear or uncomfortable feeling, that’s what we need to acknowledge and work on. There are so many moments in the bible where God says: don’t be afraid. Because He knows our tendencies to be afraid.”
    Philippians 4:6-7:
    Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

  4. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I pray that I would always remember that hardships are not a thing to avoid. God is in control even in the midst of hardships.

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