“By your endurance you will gain your lives.”Luke 21:19
How are we to endure the circumstances and challenges of life? Each generation faces its own unique challenges. We hope to learn from the lessons of history, even while we know that history has a horrible pattern of repeating itself. The “war to end all wars” was quickly followed by another. Reason, science, communism, socialism all spoke of a new golden age on the horizon, as though mature mankind can deliver itself, become its own savior, endure. Human history shows how futile that idea is.
We all need a Saviour who can really save. To save is to rescue, deliver, restore, preserve, bless. Of all the major world religions, only Jesus lays claim to the be the savior of the world. The biblical record and 2,000 years of Christian history attest to the validity of that claim. He alone truly stands the test of time. Jesus is our Savior and the only hope for the world. Not only for eternal salvation but also within the practicalities and challenges of our daily lives.
Jesus highlights the question of endurance and reliance when speaking to the disciples. The truth is, He says, that the world will not get better. It’s going to get worse. Persecution will come. Don’t rely on yourself when that happens; renounce self-reliance. Rely on the Lord’s provision and promises instead. Trust the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to guide you, even to giving you every word you should speak. Your heavenly Father cares for you. He is a saving God for His people. He can enable you to endure whatever the world, the flesh and the devil throws at you.
Have you tended to rely on your own skills, gifts, abilities, to help you endure? Why not go to a quiet place and make an act of repentance? Fetch two pieces of paper; write your name on one piece and Jesus on the other. Put the Bible as a sign of God’s promises by the paper bearing His name. Choose any object that you can use as a symbol of reliance and put it on your name. You could pray like this:
“Jesus, I claim all your promises and provision for my life so that I can endure. I am sorry for the times that I have relied on myself to be my own savior. I acknowledge that only you are my Saviour. (Lift the object and transfer it to the paper named Jesus.) I choose to trust and believe that you are my provider, my deliverer. Please help me to look to You in confidence and to wait upon You. Amen.