“. . . the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.” Mark 13:13
Lasting change comes from being able to outlast your circumstances. The ones who make it to the end are the ones who have staying power. Life, with all its trials and traumas, is designed to help each of us locate our own stick-to-it-ness. As life goes on, faith becomes more difficult, simply because maturity in a believer’s life requires we trust more deeply. We are never allowed to coast on our past spiritual successes.
Jesus is our example of what staying power looks like. During His first temptations, His loyalty to God was repeatedly tested. Then, during His ministry, He was maligned, misrepresented and marginalized. Others were constantly seeking to oppose and overthrow Him. During the last days of His life, He faced unspeakable agony in the garden as the weight of the sin of the world tried to break Him.
And of all the things He endured, none was more glorious than the cross. All the powers of darkness thought they had won, thwarting the plan of God, but Jesus demonstrated He had staying power. He broke through, and with all His might, He let out a victory cry, “It is finished.”
Staying power. We need it, because as life becomes more complicated more difficult; as our relationships and responsibilities increase; as we face health issues and the loss of life, we come face to face with the necessity to hold on, to keep on, and to go on.
The lesson of staying power teaches us that persevering through the last test, persisting through the worst of things, and prevailing the fiercest test is essential. Staying power depends not upon good beginnings, nor steady continuing, but on solid endings.
No matter how much we may doubt our personal strength, there is great inspiration for us to live on. There is power that comes only through the practice of endurance. It’s the substance of our salvation. The resurrection reminds us that Jesus came through so you could get through what you are going through.
It’s not circumstances that matter, but the courage you bring to it.