The Reward of Endurance

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Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.   -Hebrews 10:35-36


Have you ever noticed how incredibly easy it is to allow your emotions to get the best of you? As humans, we are emotional beings and if we aren’t careful we can allow the way we feel from day to day to completely dictate our lives.

I don’t know about you, but my emotions can be all over the map on any given week depending on how much sleep I’ve had, the demands I’m facing and any number of physical circumstances that are thrown my way. There are even times that everything physically can be considered perfect and I still may “feel” down or low for no apparent reason. That in itself is proof to me that if I allow my emotions alone to direct my life and choices then I will never stick out any commitment. I will never follow through. I will never see the end of so many wonderful things that will indefinitely require hard work and endurance. Let me be real. There’s nothing that scares me more than the thought of knowing I’ve spent my life spinning my wheels but due to my lack of faithfulness (this word means FULL of FAITH; ie: if you really believe something you will be faithful) never seeing the end of things I know that Jesus has placed inside of me.

Eight weeks ago I began doing the Insanity workouts. They were given to me so that pretty much left me with no excuse. Dude, that stuff is hard. For one very brief spell (3 days, maybe?) about 8 years ago Danny and I did p90x and we were kind of like, “Eh…maybe not.” For the first four weeks of doing these workouts I felt very motivated. This was going to be FUUUNNN! I stayed motivated even though the first week I did something to my back and had to take about a week and a half off because I struggled to move at all. Then for the next three weeks my left knee, the one that I’ve had surgery on and that has dislocated countless times in my life, kept swelling up like a basketball for no apparent reason. I’d ice it daily, take ibuprofen here and there and roll on with the workouts. Somewhere around this time I began to feel very discouraged. I’d think to myself, “Good grief. I’m 33 years old and I pretty much feel 90. And what on earth?! Push up jacks?! How about I just try one of those and fall over dead now…” I really felt like quitting and not even one emotion in my body wanted me to get up and do those stinking, sweaty, burning workouts ever, ever, ever again.

But something was happening. I was seeing results. I could do more than before. I also didn’t want to let that go. A good bit of the back problems I have dealt with are probably directly related to the fact that I need to strengthen my core. Did I really want to give up? No. But having endurance can be super tough.

I’ve since had to take off another few days when something wacky happened to my shoulder, but to make a long story short (too late)- I’m caught in the middle of something I want to see through. Repeat even. But emotionally, I pretty much wanted to quit about 5 weeks ago. Not because of anything other than the fact that my feelings tell me I might not see results. My feelings tell me I might mess my knee up again. My feelings tell me I’m too busy to commit to something like this and besides that, it isn’t fun, at all.  But I’m also at a crossover point too. I can actually do some of these exercises now that previously had me rolling around like a beached whale. My knee hasn’t swollen up in weeks and the exercises have gotten more intense. I can feel my back getting stronger when I bend over to pick something up. As much as my emotions (who want to call in a couple of pizzas and quit this craziness immediately) are at war with my body, my emotions can’t help but acknowledge that the difficulty of committing to do this every day is in fact making me stronger and helping me in a number of ways that I really needed help.

I tell you this story for one reason. There are some things that are much bigger and greater that God places within us that He wants His people to follow through with. Things that involve souls and lives. Things that actually are eternal. Things that will indefinitely require endurance. There may be more days than not that you and I do not feel like giving of ourselves to get up and prepare the lesson that we will teach to impact lives. There may be more days than not that we emotionally just want to quit trying to reach that neighborhood that is so tough and the darkness just seems too dark to ever change. There may be days when we are tempted to focus on ourselves and wonder how a person could possibly complete something as difficult as we are sure God is asking us to complete. This is the the miry mud between the word and the promise fulfilled. This is the middle- which certainly will have an impact on what the end looks like.This is the place heroes of faith are made.

We can either bow to our every emotion, quit every great adventure God sets our hands toward and forever wonder what would have happened if we would have just kept faithfully stepping forward and believing…OR we can silence our emotions with the sword of God’s word. We can put any emotion that is not in line with what God has clearly said, in it’s proper place.

“I refuse to bow to the way I feel right now. Jesus, I believe YOU more than the way I feel and I will not live my life being dictated by futile emotions when there is a Living God sitting on the throne of my heart desiring to lead me forward abundantly. Period. I choose faithfulness over and over and over again simply because I believe you, God.”

As we continue to move forward faithfully, the promise is sure.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galations 6:9

There you have it. We WILL reap IF we do not GIVE UP.

I just want to encourage you as God is encouraging me. Do not give up. It is worth it and you will see it. We do not have to allow our emotions to daily, derail our faithfulness. We can stay the course and we can reap a harvest! Let’s do that!!