Every life has hardships, and every success story is filled with obstacles and near disasters. Nearly every financially successful person has lost everything at least once, and many several times. No one has made it to the place of success without facing and overcoming difficult odds. And all too often those that succeed do it at a tremendous price. Everyone who succeeds may point to a particular strength. But, the one strength common to all success is endurance. Because no one wins without hardship, everyone who wins must endure! Paul’s writing to the Ephesians seems almost simplistic, “After you have done everything to stand just stand!”
Sometimes I know I’ve done all I can do to bring about a success. All that is left to do is keep standing. Standing enduring may be the hardest part. Activity makes us feel safe. It gives us the sense we are accomplishing something, whether we are or not. But enduring is what takes place when there is nothing left to do. When it seems that everything is beyond our control, it will be the strength to endure that keeps us holding on until success comes. Endurance comes from many sources. It is the fruit of discipline, vision, hope and faith! In the parable of the sower and the seed, Jesus said those who lost the word through tribulation and hardship, lacked root. The truth was not rooted in their heart. These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble (Mark 4:16-17, NKJV).
Enduring hardship is directly related to having an enduring vision. An enduring vision is one that is rooted deep in the heart. It is the unshakable certainty that the end is sure. If the vision is not rooted in our heart, we will give up when the hardships arise. If we lose sight of the vision, the hardships become exaggerated. They become bigger in our mind that they really are. But the person who is focused on the vision has little awareness of the hardship. Few people exemplify this more than the Apostle Paul. Paul, who had been beaten, imprisoned, betrayed, shipwrecked and maligned, referred to his suffering as “light affliction.” Paul experienced something that influenced him more than his hardship.
He had a vision to take the gospel to the world. It was his calling, his destiny. It was rooted too deeply in his heart to by plucked up by life’s hardships. When giving the secret to his capacity to endure incredible hardship Paul said, we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen (2 Cor. 4:18, NKJV). The person who sees the end from the beginning will endure hardship. The person who sees the end, experiences strength beyond what others can see or perceive. Read Entire Article