In the 1900’s the British queen Victoria resided in Ghana. She conducted the slave trade and ruled in the name of the United Kingdom. One day she ordered the capture of King Prempeh who was the last of the Ashanti Kings and this stirred up Queen mother Yaa Asantewaa to mobilize her people to go and fight the British soldiers. Yaa Asantewaa and her people knew that the soldiers had guns and explosives but in the face of all that THEY STOOD FIRM AND FOUGHT because they knew that they were entitled to their freedom.
Christians of today assume endurance to be accepting failure and misfortunes in life but true endurance means to STAND FIRM AND FIGHT, no matter the circumstances around us. The unwillingness of Christians to stand against the world and the enemy has led to the inculcation of a whole lot of theories and concepts into Christendom. Endurance is about believing God and knowing that no matter the situation you are in, He will take you through it.
In Revelation 2:10 Jesus tells the church of Smyrna, “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed the devil will throw some of you into prison that you may be tested and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life”. This reveals that God has not promised us a trouble-free life but has promised to reward us if we endure to the end. The situations we find ourselves in, the constant ridicule we face and the poverty we are enduring are meant to test us and help us grow strong and more mature in Christ. OUR FAILURE TO ENDURE IS WHAT SUCCEEDS OUR FAILURE. There will be many situations in which we will need to endure and wait on Godto work on our behalf. Waiting on God is not just sitting and joking around expecting God to move but it is about standing firm for God and believing Him to bring us to an expected end. In the above scripture the expected end of our lives will be the crown of life but to attain this we need to endure the sufferings and tribulations of this present time believing that our God is faithful to His Word and will go through with us. [Read Going through Trials?]
In the book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar raised a golden image of himself and commanded that at the sound of a trumpet, all people should bow down to it but Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did not give in to this command. They stood firm and said, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from you hand. But if not , let it be known, O King, that we do not serve your gods nor will we worship this image you have set up”. (Daniel 3:16-18). These teenage boys did not compromise and submit to the orders of an earthly king but STOOD FIRM and fought against the will of Nebuchadnezzar. They knew their God and were prepared to endure a furnace. Endurance till the end requires the “I WILL NOT BOW” spirit. No matter the circumstances around us, we should not compromise our holiness, purity or relationship with God in order to be accepted by the world. Endurance is the UNCOMPROMISING SPIRIT which we need to endure pain for success.
Let’s take a look at the scripture below: Mark 5:1-20.
“And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.
And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs
a man with an unclean spirit,
Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with
Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had
been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any
man tame him.
And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and
cutting himself with stones.
But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,
And cried with a loud voice, and said, what have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son
of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.
For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.
And he asked him, what isthy name? And he answered, saying, my name is Legion:
for we are many.
And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.
Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.
And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter
And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered
into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were
about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.
And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they
went out to see what it was that was done.
And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the
legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil,
and also concerning the swine.
And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.
And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil
prayed him that he might be with him.
Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell
them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done
for him: and all men did marvel”.
In this scripture, a man from the land of the Gadarenes is possessed by demons which hurt him physically and caused him to make his home in the tombs. This man is so possessed that chains could not hold him and no man could tame him, but when Jesus stepped into the scene, there was a dramatic change. The demons ran to worshiped Him and begged to be cast into a herd of swine.
This man after being made free went to tell people the good news.
Now, let’s take a critical look at the scripture above. The land of the Gadarenes is a portion of the land given to Gad (which means a troop comes). Also in Genesis 49:19, Jacob said, “Gad, a troop shall overcome you but you shall triumph at last”.
This reveals how poverty, sickness and tribulation shall overcome him but he shall triumph at last. He was not promised a trouble-free life but was assured that he will come out triumphant at the end. Partial endurance doesn’t pay but endurance to the end will earn us a crown of life. We need to be ready to stand and fight till we triumph.
Also, in 1 Chronicles 12:8, the Bible says, “Some Gadites joined David at the stronghold in the wilderness, mighty men of valor, men trained for battle, who could handle the shield and spear, whose faces were like lions and were as swift as gazelles”.This means that the Gadites were ready and fully prepared for war. They were ready to endure. They knew how to handle the shield (faith) and the spear (Word of God) properly. They had been trained by the word of God and trained to use their faith to destroy the attempts of the enemy on their lives. These Gadites endured war and were willing to risk their lives. They had the “I WILL NOT BOW” spirit and at the end THEY TRIUMPHED.
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