Endurance and Encouragement

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus. (Romans 15:5)

Today we have before us two of the most amazing gifts of grace that our God gives to us each and every day. Read on, and be greatly encouraged to continue to endure, regardless of the circumstances you are currently facing.

I often remind our congregation that we are always in one of three stages of life: either we are in the middle of a storm, we are emerging from a storm, or we are heading into a storm. I don’t know about you, but I often wonder why those storms can’t be spaced a bit further apart throughout life! It seems as if they come one after another after yet another. Yet God has given us everything we need to not only weather those storms, but to worship in them and witness through them. We see in today’s verse that God gives us the endurance to keep on keeping on, and He also provides us the necessary encouragement along the way.

Here is one of the things that the Spirit of God wants us to glean from our verse today: Because it is God who has given us the grace gifts of endurance and encouragement in the past, we can count on Him to continue giving them to us as we go through this life.

We know this is true from the testimony of His Word. In the very same chapter of Romans that we are looking at today, Paul was moved by the Spirit of God to write, “Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4).

Here is the way we can maximize these two great grace gifts that we have received: by marinating in and meditating on the Word of God. The more our reading reminds us about the faithfulness of God in the past, the more we will be encouraged to endure in the present, regardless of the circumstances we are facing. We have been given a hope that simply cannot be extinguished by any flaming arrows of the world, the flesh, or the devil.

How are you doing with these two grace gifts that you have received? Are you encouraged to endure, regardless of whatever you are facing? If you sense that your endurance and encouragement levels are running a bit low, take a few extra minutes with God’s Word today and He will fill you to overflowing. This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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