Hebrews 12:3 ¶ Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
One of the requirements for developing the Christian virtue of endurance is hardship. Hardship looks like difficulties. But it also looks like temptation. I'm sure that elite athletes face constant the constant temptation to slacken off in their training and stop going through the necessary pain of stretching their stamina and muscle tone. But today you don't need to hear from an elite anybody. I have a story to tell...
This week I realised my body shape was going the way of many 40-something year old men who eat more than they need and exercise nothing but their rights. So I decided to do something about it. Starting Sunday morning (the most inconvenient day for a preacher) I started a jogging/running/walking routine. Then from Monday I decided to fast by only eating one meal a day for a few days. But then yesterday (the fourth day of my new routine) it was raining in the morning and I woke up particularly tired, so I didn't do my morning exercises. I also took Kim out to lunch and therefore ate two meals for the day (since she had prepared a special roast for our evening dinner). All was fine until...
Last night my sleep was continually interrupted by leg cramps. Apparently my daily exercise routine had conditioned my legs to need this painful exercise I had introduced it to. So this morning I was back into it. I am enduring the pain and discomfort for a goal I prize. I hope that my endurance is sustained throughout this year.
This Sunday I am going to draw upon one of the most inspirational stories of endurance I have ever heard. As a result the remarkable endurance shown by the leader of the small band of men who feature in this true story, he is now regarded as "the greatest leader in human history ever". See you Sunday for an inspirational time and don't forget our church BBQ after the morning service.
Philippians 3:7-8 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.