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A scripture came to mind this morning that I want to share. I sense we each have our own set of struggles right now; possibly disappointment that Easter is coming and our normal traditions and celebrations will be different, possibly missing family and people we would normally spend time with, or facing financial stress as a result of the shut-down. I hope this scripture will give us strength and courage no matter what we are facing…

What stuck out to me in today’s verses is the promise that we can “attain every kind of endurance.” I sense we could each use some kind of endurance right now? Endurance to live with family 24/7, homeschooling kids, missing family and friends (and freedom!), having NO time to ourselves anymore. This takes all kinds of endurance.

Consider these definitions for a minute. Are you in need of any of these? 

  • Endurance is the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina. 
  • Perseverance is the steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement. 
  • And to forbear is to be patient or self-controlled when subject to annoyance or provocation.

Ok, the last one. Really. How many of us need some forbearance right now with our husbands or kids!? Or pets? I mean 24/7 is a lot of time together. Let’s be honest. Are we loving extra time to slow down and enjoy one another? Of course. But we also are being pressed in all kinds of ways if we are not used to being together all the time. This takes all kinds of endurance and perseverance and patience! 

Just dealing with the unknowns and onslaught of fear in the media is enough to discourage. Then we add to that the stress some of us may have in our households and I can understand why the Lord brought us to this verse today. 

Let’s not miss the last promise in this verse. Two little words: with joy. Not only can we endure this–we can do it with joy. This is a supernatural promise. We can’t do these things in our human strength or will. We must ask God to fill us, to energize us, to invigorate us with his presence…that we could have the endurance, perseverance, forbearance, patience we need. And to experience his joy in the midst! 

Make this your prayer this week: Lord, energize and invigorate me in your presence! By the power of your Holy Spirit living in me, give me every kind of endurance I need for this season. Help me persevere in what you have for me to do in this moment; and to be patient and self-controlled as I deal with daily annoyances. Above all, I want to experience your joy in a fresh way, today! I choose to shut out the negativity of the world and focus on all I have to be joyful about: your faithfulness, the promise of your presence, the hope of the resurrection, and the knowledge that I can not just endure but enjoy this time. Amen.

I encourage you to continue this list of what we have to be joyful about. Post it somewhere. Share it with someone.