Three Words the Holy Spirit uttered early (2 A.M.) one recent morning:
The Lord: “EMBRACE”
Me: What Lord?
Me: What Lord?
... then later
The Lord: “EVERYTHING”
... then later again, the third word came:
The Lord: “ENDURABLE”
Embrace everything endurable. Why? Because, with Jesus, and through the Holy Spirit’s power, we can. And that’s not all. It can become a delight to endure! There is perhaps no better delight. To endure is to try on God’s faithfulness.
Everything may be endurable, but not everything is designed by God to be endurable. What this means is that God supplies ample grace for any and all situations we are faced with, which helps us endure what can only be embraced, but it’s not God’s will that we endure everything. It’s God’s will, however, that we have the willingness to embrace an attitude of endurance. And through such an embracing we can stomach the tumults that life presents us with.
Embracing the tests of life is the Christian’s role and responsibility. It’s also their privilege. This is about not despising life (or God) for ‘bringing’ grief our way. It’s a wisdom task to choose the appreciative thing to do when we are backed into a corner. The appreciative thing to do is accentuating the positive; to make the most of whatever silver lining to the cloud appears. We should never despise testing, for Life’s tests are always opportunities for Kingdom advancement.
Even as we are backed into a corner we can smile from a joy heralded from within, for we are not without hope!
There is no point in complaining about our lot in life when the complaint won’t actually help things. Most complaints fall on deaf ears and they may even bring damage to our cause. But if we are to complain we should limit our complaint to prayer before the Lord.
If we can embrace everything endurable we put the power of the gospel to work in our lives; invincibility principles that will work for anyone who applies them. God’s Spirit enables the invincible power that brings emergent hope from that deep well of faith.
Not only is endurance about enduring that which we find painful, it’s also about a hope for an even better, and an appreciative, outcome. Endurance doesn’t simply settle for a sombre recognition of what is unchangeable; it also makes whatever of the situation it can. And endurance never gives up because there is a plethora of possibilities it sees. There are no dead ends.
Doing what’s right engenders peace. Peace equals joy. Joy underpins hope. Hope fuels faith. Faith inspires endurance. Endurance is faithfulness: doing what’s right.
Embrace everything endurable. Everything is endurable. Embrace everything. But we ought to let go of those things that God wills us not to endure. But everything that tests and tries us can be endured for God’s glory and can be embraced.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.