We all need, want and sometimes desire it. It is beyond race, color or gender. It can not be bought or sold. Athletes train to achieve it. Many desire it, but few obtain it. This character trait requires our will and active participation. For God has a plan to develop endurance in us all. He instructs us: "to run with endurance the race that God has set before us." (Hebrews 12: 1 NLT) It will take blood, sweat and tears to complete this task. Are we prepared to develop endurance?
Why is endurance important? In a marathon race many start but only a handful finish. Why? Desire is not enough. You need determination built upon training. Your must train your mind, will and emotions, never to quit.
A trained mind is developed by scripture memorization. In your weakness, repeat over and over again this verse: "Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors." (Romans 8: 37 NLT). If that does not work, try this verse: "For consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls." (Hebrews 12: 3 NLT)
Your will is your greatest enemy. When your muscles ache, your head pounds and the sweat pours off your body, will you quit? That is the key question? The following experience from a trained marathon runner will give you a deeper understanding of endurance. Maybe, the next time you want to quit, you will remember this experience.
Just a few more steps - I am so close but so far from my goal. The crowd cheers, "Go! Go! Go! Keep going! Keep going!"
The sweat pours off my face - so close and yet so far from my goal. With my heart pounding - one after the other - my aching feet pound the pavement. With each step a pain shoots up my leg and the sweat continually pouring off my face - panting, panting and more panting.
"I can't continue like this!"
Only my coach's words, "Focus! Focus on the goal!" give me courage to continue.
"I can't do this anymore! I don't want to do this anymore!"
Again, my coach's words, "Champions never give up!"
"The others have quit. I want to stop!"
The crowd cheers, "Don't stop now! Don't stop now!"
Wiping the sweat from my eyes, I clearly see my goal. Only a few more feet to go, again, my aching feet pound the pavement. The crowd cheers, "Keep going! Keep going!" Only a few more steps to victory, finally, I will reach the end. One step after another, with my twitching muscles, there is no quitting now. With one final step, I break the tape.
Triumphantly, with my hands in the air, I shout, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished this race and now my prize is waiting." (II Timothy 4: 7, 8 NLT)