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April 25, 2017, 9:44 AM

Keep on Keeping On!


“May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.”  II Thessalonians 3:5

One of Paul’s prayers for the church at Thessalonica was that they would be would be directed into the steadfastness of Christ.   To be steadfast is to endure.  It would help to understand that the church in Thessalonica had faced much persecution and difficulty as a church.  They faced a difficult road in which endurance would be required for each day of life.  

The Christian life is a long steady climb upwards and onwards as we march toward Christ and the perfection that is waiting for us in Heaven.  It is a steady pace that we are to take and it should be a consistent, determined march that is both towards God and alongside the Savior as helps carry our load.  

Sure there are ups and downs in the Christian life, but living the Christian life should not be compared to riding a roller coaster.  Rather, it should be a steady ascent as Christ propels us and carries us forward.  It is when we climb out of His capable arms that we find the dips and plunges that often mark our lives. The Christian life is also not supposed to be an “on again, off again” life that characterizes the lives of so many believers. 

The problem is that too often we sprint when we are on a spiritual high, and we want to give up when things bog down.  

Endurance is the ability to keep on keeping on when things get tough and you want to quit.  

So what is the key to spiritual endurance? It is easy to miss this even though it is spelled out in the verse.  

Surprisingly this Scripture does not speak of our endurance at all!  It is a prayer that we would be directed by God, into Christ’s endurance.  The Christian life is not about your ability to whip up enough grit to cross the finish line.  The Christian life is not about your ability to pick yourself up by your bootstraps.  We might be able to find enough internal fortitude to slog through a difficulty with something that resembles endurance but it would not be accompanied by joy or peace, or any of the exhilarating hallmarks that make the journey the adventure God intends.  But, looking to your own strength and will power will only eventually grind you down  and end in bitterness and failure.  

To live the life abundant that we are called to in this life we must find our strength in Christ, and we must rely on His endurance that unlike ours, never fails. 

How do we do that?  We do so by continually returning to Him in prayer.  We do so by asking Him to give us the supernatural strength and endurance of Christ.  We find that supernatural power in the arms of a loving Savior who not only died to save us, but also walks along with us until we finish the course of our life.  

Living the Christian life does not mean living a perfect life based on your ability. Rather it is a supernatural life, fueled by supernatural power.  

For that life you need the supernatural endurance of Christ, not the limited endurance of you.  


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