(June 26, 2020)

This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God
who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus
– Revelation 14:12

I clearly remember that I used to dread the moment when high school swim practice was about to begin each day.  I knew that it would be utterly exhausting.  It required a lot of endurance.  But the endurance was necessary in order to get in shape.  So I dove in and enjoyed the hour.

“Patience endurance” (which is one word in Greek) is not simply one of the great themes of Revelation, but of being a disciple of Jesus.  Just about anything in life that is truly meaningful calls for it—at least at times.

This “perseverance” has been expressed in different ways. Eugene Peterson called it “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction.”  My former professor said the believing life was rooted in “deep furrows” and had “long trajectories” in which the fundamentals of discipleship were deeply embedded into our very DNA.  Fundamentals such as Micah 6:8.

Patient endurance is a far cry from the lure of the instant world in which we live.  There is nothing glamorous about it.  But it is the path to maturity.  There simply is no other way.

* * *

Do you resonate with this steadfastness?  Does not the season that we are all in for patient endurance? Are your daily habits consistently and profoundly shaped by the fact that you are God’s Child?

With my old swim practices, every single day when I finished I was so glad I had embraced the discipline.  I felt healthy and strong. The effort was always worth the reward. How much more this life of discipleship!  Faithfulness without “patient endurance” is impossible.  And this faithful endurance gives us the ultimate reward, God Himself.

* * *
Father, help us to embrace healthy spiritual rhythms and disciplines in our lives.  That is, help us to be faithful.  In the Name of the One who endured the Cross, Jesus Christ.  Amen.