Endurance isn’t exactly a fun word, and I bet you know what it means: it’s the power to go through an unpleasant or difficult situation without giving way. And at some point or another, we’ve all been pushed to the brink. Recently, I was too.
The constant pressures of work and family and navigating endless logistics had left me worn down. My endurance level was at an all-time low, and I hit a breaking point. I didn’t know if I could continue this way. My raw emotions were all over the place. All I knew was I felt weak and drained.
Then I read something that put everything into perspective: the words of the daily devotional, Jesus Calling, on February 27th entry:
Keep your eyes on Me! Waves of adversity are washing over you, and you feel tempted to give up. As your circumstances consume more and more of your attention, you are losing sight of Me.
It was like a slap in the face and a wake-up call rolled into one.
Life is difficult, and no one can guarantee our lives will be problem-free. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. But the minute I let those waves of adversity wash over me, I lose sight of Jesus. I’m tempted to throw up my hands and give up.
But time and again, Scriptures tells us He will always be with us, no matter what:
“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.”
– Psalm 72:23–24 NIV
“God is faithful he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
– 1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV
God won’t let us be tempted beyond our ability—that’s something that used to perplex me. But I’ve come to realize what I think is my breaking point and what God thinks is my breaking point are two different things. When I feel myself cracking under the weight, it’s not because I’m beyond my ability. It’s because I’ve got my eyes on the wrong thing—I’m looking at my circumstances instead of Jesus.
When you stop and think about it, how amazing that God knows we can handle more than we think! He’s by our side, holding us with His right hand, letting us lean on His strength and focus on Him.
Keep your focus on My presence in the present.
That’s the last line of this powerful Jesus Calling devotion. We need to be brave enough to put aside the what-if’s and dwelling on the past and focus solely on Him in the present. That’s where endurance comes from. Focusing on God gives us the strength to move forward and face whatever life throws at us.
Hebrews 12:1–2 tells us to “run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” (NLT).
We are not Jesus, but we do have the promises He gives us in Scripture: that He will never leave us, and that when we keep our focus on Him, He helps us through those difficult times.
When I think of running our race with endurance, I’ll never forget my kids’ first athletic event at their school. They are not runners, but my son got picked to run the long-distance race. Rounding up in last place, looking like he was ready to give up, his friends ran to the track and finished the race with him.
Next time you are feeling weak and depleted like I was, remember that we serve a God who runs beside us when we want to give up. And in those moments, when we keep putting one foot in front of the other, we take the next step in our faith journey with Him.
Wife, mother, lover of people, writer, and world traveler, Jen Price has traveled to dozens of countries, not merely as a tourist, but rolling up her sleeves and going well off the beaten path so that she might get to know the people, learn the culture, and find the heart of the place. In 2005, Jen co-founded Ten Thousand Homes, an organization dedicated to bringing hope and home to thousands of children orphaned in sub-Saharan Africa. Currently she and her family live in South Africa. Jen’s side hobbies include writing, photography, and creating warm and welcoming spaces. You can check out her stories and photos on her blog, jeremynjenprice.blogspot.com.