"Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer." –Romans 12:12
Endurance means putting one foot in front of the other no matter how things are going. At the London Marathon, a lot of the hard parts of that race were talking myself through the rough patches. The marathon is a good analogy for life in general. You’re going to go through those rough patches where you don’t feel good. You can either get down on yourself and cave in and start doing poorly, or you can tell yourself you’re doing great and you’re going to do your best no matter how you’re feeling or how slow you start. I really had to mentally coach myself through some rough patches in that race, and I think that’s the big part of endurance. Tough times are inevitable. They’re going to come. But you have to keep pushing on because you know you have a big hope. The Bible states that Christ endured the cross for the joy set before Him. There’s a prize waiting for us at the end that we can fix our eyes on. It will allow us to endure things that we never thought we could possibly go through.
1. As an athlete, can you describe a time when you had to endure tough times or perhaps painful situations en route to achieving your goals? From where did you find the strength to push through those challenges?
2. What characteristics does the passage in Romans 12:12 suggest are vital when it comes to endurance? Why does that advice seem to go against human nature?
3. What gives you hope? What biblical promises make it easier for you to endure troublesome times in your life?
John 17:1-4; 2 Timothy 2:11-13
Lord, give me the joy, patience, and persistent desire to pray no matter what difficult situations I might face. Grant me the strength and endurance to push through to the end of the race. Amen.