Entry #6 - What helps me endure?
Yes, I have trials and trouble on my mind a lot and for many reasons. First, in this world, we will and do have troubles. Jesus said so - it's in red. See John 16:33. Second, I have prayer requests and lists that prove trials abound. Third, I recently spent weeks studying the Scripture concerning trials and troubles. I'm still processing all I learned and am still learning!
Okay so with troubles on my mind, I get to 1 Peter chapter 1 verse 24 that says: "People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades." Now that's a real attention getter. A reality check. As I sat there looking at these words, the Spirit brought to mind James 4:14 (b) that says: "You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away."
I'm thinking to myself ... that in light of eternity, our lives here on earth short but they are filled with trouble. I remember that Peter is writing to those who are being distressed by various trials (1 Peter 1:6-7) reminding them "for a little while if necessary." Now, my mind goes to what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:17: "For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison." In light of eternity, our troubles are light, momentary, for a little while.
Now, I need to stop and process. The distress or trouble sure doesn't "feel" light, momentary or for a little while. Sometimes it's seemingly a lifetime of trouble. What's so light and momentary about a lifetime? Well, in light of eternity it is, but we are in the here and now. Eternity is hard to comprehend when the now has you in a pressure cooker. Amen?
I get that Peter is trying to get them and us to move beyond our troubles by reminding of who we are in Christ, what we have and how we are to live. It's all true and being reminded of these truths helps us put our troubles in perspective. And then boom, in 1 Peter 1:24-25(a) he says:
"All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower fall off, but the word of the Lord endures forever.”
Did you see it? "....but the word of the Lord endures forever." Earlier, in verse 24 he said the "living and enduring word of God."
The word endure just jumped off the page. Why? Because during the weeks of studying God's word concerning trials, the words endure and endurance kept coming up. I could go on and on about what I learned about trials and endurance. I mean I know I need it, I know trials produce it and so on. But, when I read 1 Peter 1:25(a)...this is the question that came to mind and that I wrote down in my journal.
What helps me endure?
Answer: The living and enduring word of the Lord.
Obvious, I know. No earth-shattering revelation here. I mean we all know the word of the Lord is living and endures forever, right? But knowing it and taking it up and using it to help me endure my trials and troubles are two entirely different things. In the midst of trials and troubles that don't seem light or momentary, I endure by:
- Eating or devouring God's word: "Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts." Jeremiah 15:16
- Being nourished in and from God's word: But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”" Matthew 4:4
- Delighting in God's word that keeps me from perishing in my affliction: "If Your law had not been my delight, Then I would have perished in my affliction." Psalm 119:92
The key to enduring? The living and enduring word of the Lord. A good word to myself and I pray to you.