Happiness in EnduringBro. David Chancellor
7/4/2004 6:00 PM
Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
Life has things to go through. "Behold, we count them happy which endure" We don't usually remember the ones who gave up. The ones that endured are the ones we remember. We have an appreciation for the ones that go through.
There are examples in the Bible. David was distressed by what Goliath said, but he didn't sit and whine about it. He stepped up to the challenge. Goliath didn't shrink and David didn't run. We still know the story. You don't get to be a hero without some battles. We know about these because of what happened and because they endured. Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego didn't flinch; they stood, endured, and went through. When the trial is over, it's a good thing if you endure. If you give up and moan and complain, you won't be counted happy. The enduring is where the happiness is. People remember the difficulties they've been through. Tales of endurance are happy stories. Jeremiah's prophesies were sad tales, but he didn't run from the prophesies. When the king destroyed the first book, Jeremiah re-wrote it. He endured to see his prophecies come true. He was faithful. We can appreciate his faithfulness and endurance in the face of hardship. Paul was beaten and hurt many times. He remembered, but he didn't moan and complain. He got back up and kept going. He was faithful to go on. He knew the value of what he had. He also had walked in the shoes of those that opposed him. He wanted them to have what he had. Paul had something to look forward to because he had fought and endured. Don't be prone to quit at the first sign of difficulty. We don't know what it is to face hardship. These endured many hard things. That they went through is encouraging. If you recorded your memories what would it be? Easy street is a boring tale. God allows us to go through some things. Go through with patience and grace. These endured with grace. We need patience and grace to endure with a right attitude.
Job suffered many things, but his "comforters" were his biggest trial. They accused and cast down. Yet, Job didn't curse God, he didn't give up, he didn't whine. He left it with God. Other people are some of our hardest battles. When they disappoint you and let you down, it's hard. Endure and hold on to what is right. Have it settled to go through and to overcome. Draw closer to God and find the strength to endure. Life has some trouble, but the happy people are the ones that can endure and go through.
1 Peter 3:12-16
For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
God knows what's going on. He hears and sees his people. God may not "feel" close, but he hears. Even those that do right will experience difficult times. God sees us. There normal state of things should be "And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?" If we are doing what we're supposed to do, why should we worry? Others will figure it out eventually. Doing good does pay in the long term. If you suffer for doing good, you can still be happy. You can know that you have the source. We can trust God to take care of it all. Just go on through. Follow what God has shown you is right. Christ suffered more than we ever will. He went through because he knew it was for our good. We have an expectation that goes beyond the here and now. Good comes of good. There's a benefit that comes from doing right.
And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens
"How many more cases do we need to recount to convince of the value of staying true?" Be inspired to go through. Remember that those we read of in the Bible were people just like us. If they could endure, we can, too. Elijah got discouraged just like others. God gave him what he needed to go on. They could be hurt, just like us. We have so many testimonies to read, of how people endured and went through. Be encouraged to endure. God can help us just as he did them. "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us," (Hebrews 12:1) There are many who've gone before and endured. We need to go through and leave behind a testimony of endurance. There are those that follow us. Keep on going. Opposition will come and try to discourage. The happy ones endure. When things would come your way, go on through. God can help us to overcome, too. He'll help us fight all the battles we face. Especially endure the spiritual battles. The real pleasure in life is found in overcoming and enduring. It's going through to something better than what you had before. It takes a battle to have a victory to celebrate. Go through and endure.