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Enduring: It’s Not about You

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, 9for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned. 10 For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory. –2 Timothy 2:8-10

Why would we go through suffering?

According to Paul, we suffer hardship because of the Gospel, because Jesus is the Christ and we recognize Him as Lord of all. This suffering may look different for every person who belongs to Him, but we will face our own hardships.

Why do we endure though?

We endure because the word of God is not under hardship or imprisonment. It is free to work and bring freedom and deliverance. For as much as I would like to make it, the word is not about me, and my difficulties are not constraining the word of God. We endure these things because there are others who need the truth, who have been chosen to receive His salvation and glory.

I would dare say, most don’t have this revelation.  We tend to think we are enduring alone. It certainly can feel that way after all. Life can be harsh and the isolation that comes as a result can seem deeply personal and wounding.

Instead of blaming God and getting upset at our condition, this is the moment to praise Him because His word is still working. We aren’t standing simply for our own breakthrough, but for hundreds and thousands around us or even yet to be born.

That’s a humbling and incredible thing, but His word is that powerful. Remember that He is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we can ask or think, according to the power at work within us (Ephesians 3:20).

Paul also said,

28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. 29 For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me. –Colossians 1:28-29

We labor, we endure, we stand because there is a powerful word at work bringing people into a completeness. Nowhere does it tell us that this is only for the spiritual elite or the pastor or the leader. Your endurance will affect generations and multiple lives, because the word is free!

  • Your standing in your marriage
  • Your believing for prodigal children to return to the Father
  • Your trusting Him with your business through financial difficulty
  • Your staying with a church congregation that doesn’t seem to “offer much”
  • Your sowing into a community that doesn’t seem to care whether you’re there or not

In all this enduring, the word of God is working and bringing people into a deeper knowledge of Him. How does He do that? I don’t know exactly, but it’s a miracle to behold.

And you thought you were alone? Not hardly. Be encouraged today. Look around you and see the multitude standing with you.

What are your thoughts on these verses? What do you think about what I’ve said here?

 

 

18 Comments

  1. This part stuck out to me, “my difficulties are not constraining the word of God.”
    God is bigger than the giants I face. Only I can constrain the word of God by not allowing Him the freedom to be God. He is creative, His answers come in a variety of forms. I shouldn’t put limits on God, I shouldn’t put Him in a box.

    Also, staying with a church…my spouse and I are struggling with that. We pray diligently but I’m worried my mind is getting in the way. Or maybe Satan is just using certain things as distractions. Satan knows the scriptures too and can twist them so that we miss the will of God. Anyway, enough rambling.
    TC Avey recently posted..I’ll Be Seeing YouMy Profile

    • TC, thank you. And praying for you about your church home. God can certainly move us as needed, but I understand wanting to be certain about what God is saying. May you hear and understand clearly what the Father is saying to you both. Blessings…

      • Thanks I appreciate the prayers. Sometimes it can be hard to let go, other times we are not supposed to let go. I only know I want to do God’s will and not my own.
        TC Avey recently posted..I’ll Be Seeing YouMy Profile

        • Totally understand. I know you’re listening and He is always faithful to lead.

  2. Jason,
    Praise the Lord, I got this really early today so I have time to comment.

    I don’t want to endure, nor do I want to suffer or withstand hardships! Ok, now that the carnal has spoken. But it’s true. None of us want to go through our trial or tribulation, but we must! It deposits a strength within us that nothing else can. It creates a rod in our backs that causes to to stand and not flinch. It makes us into the awesome vessel He intends for us to be so that we can go forth.

    If we don’t endure, we never change nor do we grow. We lay down and invite hell to take over. When we stand and endure, just as you’ve said, others are strenghtened and encouraged. When we fight through to the other side of our stuff, there are others hanging on to our coat tails coming through with us.

    I’ve been encouraged and strenghtened by many in the body who has held on. One of the latest faith builders for me is watching you and Andrea push through in your Japan adoption process. Oh my God, what you guys had to walk through and stand on and endure to get to your prize!

    Thank you for a timely and powerful word this morning. It’s not at all about me, it’s not a bout me, it’s not about me.

    • Sherry, I hear ya! We don’t want to endure and without the proper perspective, we can think, “what’s the point?” then the enemy chimes in and other people can chime in to with the same sentiments until we are so turned around in our thinking. I’m so glad though that endurance is bigger than us! And thank you for your words of encouragement to us too. We are privileged to stand with you for all His breakthrough! Thank you, Sherry.

  3. Those are great and powerful words. I think the modern church has become so infected with the standards of humanism that has crept in and taken over our society that we are too much about ourselves. I’ve said this often, “It’s not all about me.” When it is all about us we fail the heart of the Father that resides within. The world sells us the things that promise us happiness by putting ourselves before all else… in the end the only that brings is misery and despair. The only thing that can bring true peace and joy is seeking the Father and His will, in doing so we find the heart of a sacrificial Father and Son.

    Great thoughts Jason.
    floyd recently posted..A FIRM HANDSHAKEMy Profile

    • Man, you are so right. There is definitely a personal relationship to be had with our Father and the Son and Holy Spirit and it is amazing! But that is not the sum of all things. We are being formed together for His purposes and Kingdom rule. Though our leanings may take us toward seeking personal fulfillment, there is so much joy in living in true community. What a grace! Thank you, Floyd.

    • Floyd,

      Your words have smacked me in the mouth

      ‘It’s not all about me.’

      As soon as I read that, I realised it was true. That that is my calling. My heart is beating faster because for the first time in a long time, I have deep and sincere hope. Hope for my future.

      My life is not about me. My life is about serving others. My life is about the needs and wishes of others.

      I have been so stupid these past twelve years to have missed it but of course, I thought I could go it alone. Thought I was the big man!!!

      Well, Jason and Floyd and others, thank you, thank you so much. I have been reading much these past few days on the web as I know that my salvation rests with Jesus, not me or the shallow delights of this world.

      I am a sinner, a man that has made both good and bad choices but the bad really hurt and I have had enough of hurting.

      Cheesy I know but I was lost and know I am found.

      My heart is gently beating.

      Sorry for the rant but Floyd’s words have shown me the way. Given me a foundation for my growing faith in God and his son.

      Many thanks,

      Steve

      • Blessings to you, Steve. Not cheesy at all. It’s the power of grace in our lives. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Yes sir what we do now will for sure leave a legacy for the next generation. Unfortunately we as the church are failing in some areas like the sanctimony of marriage one of the precious things in life. We as the church have a higher divorce rate then the world (who aren’t getting married at all) But now its time to restore the ways of The Lord on earth in our adult sunday class at my church we have been studying Abraham our father in the faith. That’s the legacy we the church should be portraying.
    In Proverbs 13:22 (Jewish Bible) A good man leaves an inheritance to his grandchildren,
    but the wealth of a sinner is stored up for the righteous.

    Abraham portrayed all these things He left a legacy and inheritance for Isaac, Israel (Jacob), and The Tribes. Which also includes David, and Jesus.

    Isaac sowed in the land he could of went down to Egypt but the Lord stopped him and because of his obedience he reaped a hundred fold.

    So in closing lets keep pressing on cause
    Righteousness makes a nation great,
    but sin degrades any people.
    andrew singh recently posted..Christmas-Winterland Photo ExtravaganzaMy Profile

    • Abraham is such a great example of what endurance gives to all those coming after. It’s an incredible, exponential increase! Great thoughts, Andrew. Thanks so much.

      • Abraham also demonstrated the first example of a no quit attitude. He could of quit with Hagar and Ishmael, and even though there was a 13 year absence of a recorded conversation between him and God He could of given up, But Abraham didn’t quit. He didn’t give up on his marriage with Sarah either, He could of divorced her years before but he didn’t.
        andrew singh recently posted..Christmas-Winterland Photo ExtravaganzaMy Profile

        • Pretty incredible to consider that endurance. Thanks again, Andrew.

  5. If it’s true that “We are not our own…” then just what should our response be? For me it’s stopping the “what about me” moments and surrendering ALL to Him…not easy but sooooo rewarding.

    Thanks Bro’
    Jay Cookingham recently posted..How We Going?My Profile

    • Man, it’s easy to fall into those pits! But there is a higher purpose and there is a final victory and restoration. It may not be a laugh-a-minute, but there is still joy in the middle. Thanks Jay.

  6. “We endure these things because there are others who need the truth, who have been chosen to receive His salvation and glory.”

    Yes, when we endure extreme hardships (and everyone has their own level of hardships), we are used by God to tell others how great He is! Also, our extremes may seem to us to be great and our strength nil, but then we can look at others like Job, and realize that some people have it worse, and yet they still stand!
    Ed recently posted..Stuck!My Profile

    • That is so true. He knows us individually and treats us as His sons. His discipline is perfect (like everything else about Him!). Great thoughts, Ed. Thanks so much.