Thoughts for the Day

Wednesday, 1st May 2024: Endurance

Christian Endurance Patience James 1 Trust

Reading : Verses from James, Chapter 1


James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings.

My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.

If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord....

Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


In the Epistle of James we find him arguing that faith produces endurance, and this got me to thinking about endurance. Two day's ago we looked at love, and how love results in action, and yesterday at how we should take our troubles to God. But is our faith strong enough to keep us going for the long term?

My son Kelcey* runs marathons (roads and fells) and it made me wonder what keeps him going through the painful knees and calves, the feeling of having jelly legs, the wind, the chaffing of clothing, or the driving rain. What joy is there in knowing you're about to run 26.2 miles (42 kilometres), or you've reached the halfway point, but you've still got miles to go? His answer surprised me. He said that it was an almost primeval feeling of pleasure that he was able to just go anywhere without the need for a bike or a car; he could run (or walk) wherever he wanted even though it might take time. Once running, he could zone out and enjoy the countryside, or allow his thoughts to roam, or listen to music. In Kelcey's case we can say continued practice, and some good shoes, makes endurance possible, even if it can be hard sometimes.

James argues that for a Christian, faith is what produces the endurance that will keep us going through trials and temptations. Our good equipment is our Bible. A runner needs to continually practice running and we need "to practice our faith". It means we need to constantly pass concerns on to God and believe that He has an answer. We may not like the answer but in retrospect we often see the reason why. Faith needs to be an action that we daily practice if we are to get through to the end of the race.

* Material used with Kelcey's permission.


Lord God,
help us to see our faith
as something that needs to be practised,
not something we rely on
only when we are desperate.
May our faith grow as we apply it
to everyday incidents in our life,
and our trust increase as our
endurance grows.

Follow Up Thoughts

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