Ilagan Baptist Church       

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spiritual Endurance

Text: James 5:7-18   IBCSS    October 22, 2006

Preacher: Pastor Jose B. Cabajar

 

   Spiritual endurance is an outstanding mark of a victorious Christian. It is the presence of inner strength and hope in the hidden man, the staying power of a faithful believer, and is well-displayed during life-squeezing moments. Its stability is not for just a short period of time, but for a lifetime.

 

   In physical sense, endurance is more than physical strength. Oftentimes, many strong warriors lost their opportunity to win the battle because of lack of determination. They were easily intimidated by the discriminating appearance of their enemies, and consequently, their hearts melted like ice cubes in a hot desert land, and they lost their will to win. Endurance is not only a display of one's strength, but a demonstration of one's strong determination as well. Strong will is a must-have of a potential winner.

 

   In spiritual realm, the believers' spiritual endurance is more than his notable will to achieve something in life. Some may not be aware, but it is an inspiring exhibition of God's grace. Spiritual endurance is an amazing result of a well-understood and sufficient grace of God being revealed through a believer's life. It is joy and strength-producing grace.

 

   In James 5:11, it is written, Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. (KJV) What a mind-stirring passage that could unlock believers from indifference-giving ignorance. Truly, the presence of pleasure in spiritual endurance is yet to be realized by many Christians.

 

   An in-depth study of James 5:11-15 offers us an exciting and relevant lesson to be pondered and applied in our daily walk with the Lord. Keep in mind that the Word of God reveals to us the "dos and don't" of life. A true man of endurance was exemplified by Job who really loved the Lord and His Word.              

                                

(I)            The Duration Of Believer's Spiritual Endurance

James 5:7-10

-Until the coming of the Lord

 

   Spiritual endurance has something to do with the believers' mindfulness of the things of God, especially the glorious coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  The more we love the appearing of the Lord, the more we endure hardship.

 

   In James 5:7-8, it is written, Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. (KJV) These verses remind us that our earthly life has a God-glorifying purpose, and James illustrated it and compared it with a farmer's life: a farmer looks forward to good production in the future because he believes that his labor is not in vain, but will be rewarded, which is simply the reason why he works and waits patiently for that blessed day of harvest.

 

   Whatever intensity of trials and afflictions we are experiencing today, we should not faint neither be discouraged, but rejoicing in hope because we know that God will greatly bless our future life. We believe that God has prepared unimaginable blessings to surprise us someday. What a blessing we have in Christ. Undoubtedly, the believers' spiritual endurance could be displayed until the coming of the Lord. 

 

(II)          The Blessing Of Spiritual Endurance

James 5:11

-Happiness

-Fulfillment of the will of God

-The loving-kindness of God

 

   The blessings of spiritual endurance are beyond man's earthly desires and expectations. They cannot be measured by man's unreliable weighing scale; and apparently, they are never appreciated by natural men. A man of spiritual endurance is happy because he is sure that he is fulfilling the will of God and he is enjoying the loving-kindness of the Lord upon his life. Surely, God shows His loving-favor to them that endure trials and afflictions at all times for the glory of God. 

 

(III)        Excellent Things Behind Spiritual Endurance

James 5:12-18

-Discretion   v12

 

   The way we speak and how we carry ourselves reveal our maturity. The more we become mature, the more we gain composure; and the more we experience Christ-related sufferings, the more we gain spiritual endurance.     

 

-Prayer   vs13-18

 

   A man of endurance is a man of prayer. Apparently, spiritual endurance and prayer are inseparable. A believer who wants to brave the storms of life must strengthen his prayer life. 

 

-Church's assistance   vs14-15

 

   One thing that many believers fail to consider and to give importance to during defining moments is the possible assistance a Local Church could extend. The blessing of being under the Local Church's umbrella is yet to be understood and appreciated by many Christians. We really need to pray that believers may fully realize the importance of being assisted by the Church's authorized ministers.

 

   Believers who belittle the spiritual counsel of their Local Churches are usually the "tossed to and fro" kind of people who are easily sidetracked by the winds of deceitful philosophies of the world.

 

   Christians who firmly stood the test of time are those who honestly gave value and embraced their Pastor's Bible-based advices during their trying moments.          

 

-Repentant attitude    v16

 

   A repentant person is delightful to God; and a repentant attitude could gently touch the heart of our loving and gracious Heavenly Father. May God find us repentant every time we fall in the unpleasant pit of sin so He could lift us up and proclaim His loving-mercy. Men of endurance like Job and David truly possessed repentant heart and they greatly demonstrated the power of God through their lives.   

   

-Faith in God   vs15-18

 

   Faith has an energizing power and has the capacity to see the unseen blessings prepared by the Lord to those who put their trust in Him. Our physical strength may deteriorate; our emotional stability may not last long; our mental capacity may not be enough; but if we have faith in God, we could go through the test of endurance and will come out victorious for the glory of God.     

 

-God's grace  II Corinthians 12:7-10

 

   The Apostle Paul declared much about the grace of God, and through his Epistles, we are convinced that he deeply enjoyed the grace of God. In II Corinthians 12:7-10, it is written, And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (KJV) What an inspiring testimony for us to ponder in times of weakness. As we negotiate the course of life and serve God unquestionably, may the grace of God become undeniable throughout the remaining years of our lives.   

 

   Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy (James 5:11). Surely, a man of endurance is a happy man because he knows that the best of his life is yet to be enjoyed. God sees our afflictions, and even our inner thoughts and intense desire to serve Him faithfully are well known to Him. God is immutable in His ways, and we know that what He did to Job's life, how he was afflicted and was blessed by God, could also happen to the lives of those faithful and enduring people of God today. Keep on enduring the fiery test of life and patiently wait for the coming of the Lord. Surely, God rewards the faithful and enduring Christians.  

 

   

                  

 

 

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