Dr. Dan Hayden •
Have you seen the poster with the pathetic flop-eared hound looking so forlorn? The words on the poster say “How long, O Lord? How long?” Have you ever felt that way? Me too!
I have a brother who ran in the New York marathon. He brags about the fact that he was the first guy to cross the finish line – wearing his number. Ha! Actually you have to be in some kind of shape to run twenty-six miles. Some of us would have trouble running twenty-six feet. That’s because we’re not in shape and therefore, we don’t have any endurance.
“Endurance” – that’s the key to staying strong while you’re running the marathon of life. That’s the point God is making in James 1:2-4, which says “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Endurance is a word that means “fortitude, steadfastness, perseverance.” It means “staying with it.”
Winning a marathon will give a runner great joy. But you will never win a marathon without endurance. So, endurance really is the key. Now that’s what James 1 is saying. You can consider it all joy when you are experiencing a trial. Knowing, “that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” And that’s exactly what you need to become a winner – to become mature and complete as a Christian. You need endurance.
Say, in the Christian life how far can you run? Twenty-six feet or twenty-six miles?