Endurance is a word that you will not find spoken in many testimonies. “But he who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 24:13). To endure is to hold out, to stand against adverse forces or influences without yielding. Believers are built to endure through the Word of God. It is the resource for the foundation that not only builds, but sustains adding patience for perfection. Endurance and patience work together as patience is having the capacity to endure. “But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be people perfectly and fully developed with no defects, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:4 AMP).
There is divine purpose in enduring that is beyond what one could even think or imagine. Our God is so awesome that the very intricate details of our very existence are still being discovered. Truth is that God cannot reveal the whole picture that He is painting because we would interfere with his masterpiece that He is preparing for display.
The story of Jacob, Leah and Rachel is one of a mixture of endurance for each woven in connection to each other. Jacob because of his love for Rachel endured fourteen years before he could marry her due to the deception of her father Laban. Leah endured Jacob’s love for Rachel producing sons. Rachel endured Leah’s fruitful womb, while crying out for children of her own. The divine purpose for all of this was the twelve tribes of Israel fulfilling God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 15:5. “And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.” Leah produced Judah, whose lineage included kings David and Solomon, leading to the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Rachel produced Joseph who was an integral part in the fulfillment of saving the tribes during the time of famine, moving them to Egypt.
Enduring the provocation of the adversary is difficult, but it produces greatness. Hannah, the Prophet Samuel’s mother, endured Peninah’s constant antagonism concerning her barrenness. Peninah provoked Hannah because of jealously. Even though Peninah’s womb was fruitful, she was jealous of Hannah because she knew that Elkanah loved Hannah as was his first wife. She knew that he married her to bear children. Besides, Elkanah always gave Hannah a double portion for an offering.
The divine purpose in all of this was the birth of one of Israel’s greatest prophets, who anointed the first king, Saul and the greatest king, David. Hannah made a vow to dedicate her child unto the Lord. God not only opened her womb to produce Samuel, “And the Lord visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the Lord.” (I Samuel 2:21). It is interesting to note that there is nothing in the Bible about Peninah’s children, but there are two books named Samuel.
In this season or any season there is a time that you may want to ask God “what is it that you have on your heart concerning me? What is on your mind concerning my purpose and existence in this particular time/” The Word says that you have not because you ask not. You may just be surprised at the answer.
He may tell you that the time that you have endured was for your purification. Take another look and look back at how much you have progressed spiritually. Whatever you went through was not just for a month or even one year. Let’s just say a decade minimum. During this time, the potter was continually molding and making you. The removal of the sticks and small pebbles that were in the clay may have hurt being removed because they would have been there for some time. But as He decided to make you over, He may have also added fragrant spices as a part of your purification. Remember in the book of Esther, the women were prepared for twelve months for purification before they could see the king. (Esther 2:12). They went through all of this just to be ready for one night with the king. What will you go through for an eternity with Him?
These purifying spices were also used in the Tent of Meeting in the Tabernacle. “Then the Lord said to Moses, Take sweet spices—stacte, onycha, and galbanum, sweet spices with pure frankincense, an equal amount of each And make of them incense, a perfume after the perfumer’s art, seasoned with salt and mixed, pure and sacred You shall beat some of it very small and put some of it before the Testimony in the Tent of Meeting, where I will meet with you; it shall be to you most holy.” (Exodus 30:34-36). It is important to note that even though the aromatic perfume was made holy, it was still beaten small. It was only then that the high priest could take it behind the veil. “He shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the bronze altar before the Lord, and his two hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the veil into the Holy of Holies.” (Leviticus 16:12). The bronze altar was the point of death where the flesh was sacrificed. We all want to come further into His presence, but there is a process to dying daily to the flesh. This process of purification may take more time than we realize and want because of the depth of the issues that have been planted by the enemy over time. Even though the new birth experience recreates our spirit, the soul (mind, will, and emotions), and the flesh have to be continually processed by the Word.
The word endureth is in the Bible over ninety times. But I found in most instances mercy is on the left and forever is on the right. Mercy can be defined as the divine favor and compassion of God. The word forever defines the element of time as it is eternal. In spite of everything, the Father still loves us without yielding and knowing, but expecting us to be that which He has already ordained as He has declared the end from the beginning. As He sits in eternity, it is already done, while we in time must go through the process for the manifestation.
In the New Testament, there was a man with an infirmity for thirty-eight years who sat at the pool of Bethesda daily. During the appointed season, during the holy feasts, an angel would come down and stir the water and whoever stepped in first would be healed. In the midst of the multitude, Jesus focused on him. He was not the only one with an infirmity that had been waiting. It was time to be healed by Jesus and not the angel to be used for the glory to reveal Jesus to the masses.
What about the woman with the issue of blood for twelve years, whose account is listed in three gospels? She came from behind to touch Him and virtue flowed out. Her faith rose up to go against the time that the enemy had held her captive.
The battle is faith vs. time. The enemy attempts to wear down your faith so that you will not endure for the set time that God has appointed for you. He will speak contrary to the Word of God enlisting doubt and unbelief for assistance to penetrate your thought life. Decree a reversal of cause. The enemy does not realize that even though he is using time against you, God is using it against him because it is all working for your good. As you endure and continue to seek the Lord, every blow beaten small, prepares you even the more to come behind the veil. Praise Him through it all. His victory is in you.
I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory. (1 Peter 1:6-7 MSG).
© September 2013
By Becky DeWitt