I really hate saying I have this gift. I feel like as soon as I say I have the gift of endurance, I’ll be tested on it. But I know all of the challenges I have struggled through in my life, was God perfecting this gift. Something that God has always spoken to me through every trial was to just keep enduring. Most people would hold onto promises like “I can do all things..” (Philippians 4:13), or “I know the plans I have for you..” (Jeremiah 29:11). But no, God didn’t speak to me through those promises. He told me, “Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.” (Hebrews 10:36)
Yup. A big slap in the face for the pity party I planned. Fourteen years ago, I didn’t quite understand what this verse was gonna mean for my life. When I was nine years old I was diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune disease. I spent the majority of my life in the hospital always in excruciating pain. I underwent about a dozen surgeries and almost died in one of them. I was tired all the time and knowing that there was no cure, most days I wanted to give up. But when I finally gave my life to God, He intervened. Today, I still suffer through pain daily, I still get so drained I can’t get out of bed, and I still go to the hospital like it’s a second home; but I am stronger now. I don’t lose hope anymore because God has continued to speak to me through every trial.
God has taught me to endure so that I am still able to spend a week in the hospital and still pretty myself up for the Voice on a Sunday night with no one having a clue. It no longer phases me because it no longer rules my life. I patiently endured and overcome.
“For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:3-4).
You know, you’ll probably think I’m crazy, but one of the things I love most about my relationship with God, is His correction. I truly am able to understand and feel it in my soul the pure joy when tests and trials come. Why? “…because we know that they help us develop endurance.” (Romans 5:3). I can keep going on knowing that whatever God allowed to be my trial, He will use it to strengthen me and teach me. I never want to stay as I am. God gives that gift to all of us.
Whether it’s emotional pain, physical pain, or spiritual pain, I challenge you to be excited for what God is about to do in you. Instead of asking God why this is happening to you, start asking what you are supposed to learn from this. As Christine Caine once said, “Sometimes you think you’re being buried when you’re really being planted. God is using this season to grow you.” Don’t fall into the trap of feeling hopeless, depressed, or stuck. You are not a victim of the circumstances around you. God sees you and He is the best listener of all time. Tell Him your pain, and then release it so He can work in you. If you take anything away from this, I want you to remember this final thing.
“In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.” (1 Peter 5:10).