Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Perseverance and Endurance, How much do I Have?

Meditation for the week of July 19, 2009

James 5:11  Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord–that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.

My ability to patiently endure trials lasts about an hour.  I hate to have my teeth cleaned and I hate to have fillings placed in my teeth.  But when I know that I am going to have to go to the dentist, I just remind myself that in an hour it will all be over and I will probably have survived.  I remind myself that other people go through the same thing, and they have managed to survive somehow.   I went to the dentist back in the early 70’s to have a wisdom tooth removed.  My wife said that I should go to the hospital and have it done but this fellow assured me that he could take it out in the office.  How bad could it be?  In an hour I figured the trial would all be over.  However, when he started looking for bigger crowbars and sent the next patient home, I knew I was in trouble.  He worked for two hours and left a root tip that had to be extracted over 20 years later when it began to move, but I patiently endured—for two hours.

It is one thing to persevere when you know the trial is going to be short and when you have a pretty good reason to believe that things are going to change for the better when the trial is over.  But Job didn’t know how long the trial was going to last and he didn’t know why the trial had come.  He didn’t know that he would be better off at the end of the trial than he was at the beginning.  Yet he patiently endured.

You might ask, “How could losing his ten children and having them replaced with ten more not seem like a great loss?”  How could Job be better off at the end of the trial than he was when it started?  As for everything else, the Lord said in Job 42:10, “And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends.  Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.” I believe that Job’s first ten children were all “saved” in the new testament sense and went to be with the Lord when they died.  Job didn’t lose them since he would see them again.  So even with regard to the children, the Lord gave Job twice as much.  Yes, we do get glimpses of eternal blessing in the old testament. 

Endurance is one of the characteristics of a true Christian.  Our faith endures and produces patience even when it is tried (James 1:3).  We not only worship God when everything is going well, we worship Him when things are not going well.  The Lord was an example of patience and endurance when He allowed Himself to become the sacrifice that satisfied God.  He did not revile when He was reviled, when He suffered He did not threaten (1 Peter 2:23).  He didn’t call the legions of angels that were at his disposal and destroy the world.

I am always afraid to ask God for patience or endurance because I am always afraid he might answer my prayer and send me the calamities of Job.  His wife told him to curse God and die but He didn’t (Job 2:9).  His friends only made him more miserable because they told him he had sinned when he hadn’t.  Job did persevere until he again experienced the Lord’s compassion and mercy. 

I wonder how I would fare in similar circumstances.  I pray that I don’t have to find out.

Bruce Collins

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>