3 Ways We Have Been Equipped By God to Patiently Endure Life’s Struggles

Toddlers aren’t exactly the most patient human beings. Some are probably more patient than others, but overall patience isn’t typically a trait used to describe an average 3-year-old. My daughter has been in the habit lately of asking demanding repeatedly her request until she gets what she wants.

She will ask for some water – she will watch me as I grab a cup out of the cupboard and fill it with water – the whole time asking over and over again for some water. It’s as if she’s worried I will somehow forget what I’m doing in the middle of getting it for her and she won’t get her water. (Please tell me I’m not the only mother with a toddler like this!)

 

Most of us don’t enjoy being patient. Quite honestly, it’s no fun having to wait for things. As adults we may not outwardly whine as much as a 3-year-old trying to get her way, but we often feel it on the inside. We know what we want, and we want it now.

 

3 Ways We Have Been Equipped By God to Patiently Endure Life's Struggles | alyssajhoward.com

 

Merriam-Webster has some interesting definitions for the word patient:

  • bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint
  • manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain
  • not hasty or impetuous
  • steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity
  • able or willing to bear

 

While reading these definitions, certain phrases stick out to me. True patience is calm. It doesn’t complain. It isn’t controlled by our emotions. And it is not only able, but willing to endure in all circumstances. Have I mentioned that patience is hard?

 

In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind.2 Corinthians 6:4 (NLT)

This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently, obeying his commands and maintaining their faith in Jesus.Revelation 14:12 (NLT)

 

God calls His people to patiently endure trials, temptations, and hardships of every kind.

 


Why?
Because He wants the best for us. He desires that we grow in character and learn to lean on Him. He desires to be with us in eternity.
Asking us to patiently endure life’s trials may seem like an impossible task. It’s definitely something I struggle with on a daily basis. But God doesn’t leave us empty handed.

 

  • God has given us each other. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. As we live out our faith, we can rely on one another for strength, guidance, and prayer.

 

Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer.2 Corinthians 1:6 (NLT)

 

  • God has given us His Word. The Bible reveals God’s ultimate plan for salvation and redemption. As we patiently endure, it gives us hope and encouragement that the world simply cannot offer.

 

…And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.Romans 15:4 (NLT)

 

  • We have the Holy Spirit. Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He made a promise to send a “helper.” As believers, we have God’s Holy Spirit living inside of us. He convicts us, equips us, encourages us, guides us, and gives us the strength we need to patiently endure the trials of this world.

 

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)

 

As a Christian, it’s hard not to behave like my toddlers. I struggle with patience. I whine and complain to God when things aren’t going as planned, but He is teaching me how to wait on Him. He is teaching me to trust that He is moving in my life, even when I want to remind Him of my needs repeatedly the way my 3-year-old does.

 

Even when I’m being impatient with Him, God is always faithful to be patient with me.

 

3 Ways We Have Been Equipped By God to Patiently Endure Life's Struggles | alyssajhoward.com

 

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4 Ways the World Copes with Shame (and how Jesus made a way to get rid of it for good)

Shame is such an ugly word. By definition it is “the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another.” It’s something that we all have experienced at some point in our lives. Maybe we made a terrible mistake or hurt someone we loved. Or perhaps we felt the shame of others pointing out our flaws and weaknesses. Regardless, none of us enjoy shame. Therefore, we all make an effort to avoid it if possible.

 

4 Ways the World Copes with Shame (and how Jesus made a way to get rid of it for good) | alyssajhoward.com Continue Reading

How to Prevent Your To-Do List from Becoming an Idol

I love making lists. I’m one of those people who will put something on my to-list that I’ve already done, just so I can check it off and feel accomplished. As I am beginning a new school year (and my first year officially homeschooling), my to-do lists have taken over my life. Every day, they get longer and longer as a few unchecked items get shoved to the following day’s list.

Instead of de-stressing my life, my lists have found a way to ADD stress to my life. Now I get to feel guilty and unproductive when one or two items don’t earn a check mark for the day.

 

How to Prevent Your To-Do List from Becoming an Idol | alyssajhoward.com Continue Reading

Impossible Battles: Even the Winds and Waves Obey Him | alyssajhoward.com

Impossible Battles: Even the Winds and Waves Obey Him

We all have them. Obstacles and impossible battles that we have no idea how to overcome. We are taught from an early age to face them head on. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. For some of the battles, this is true. We can face them head on and win.

Then there are the impossible battles. The ones where it seems that no amount of fighting will keep us from defeat. The ones where our demise seems inevitable. What about these battles? How can we possibly face these head on when we feel hopeless about the outcome?

 

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Overworked and Exhausted: 5 Tips to Avoid Burnout | alyssajhoward.com

Overworked and Exhausted: 5 Tips to Avoid Burnout

My alarm went off at 4:40 this morning. The last thing I wanted to do was get up and go for a run. Don’t get me wrong. I love to run, and I am actually enjoying training for my first half marathon. But if I’m being honest, the transition from sleeping in my bed to putting on my running shoes was brutal. …And my day was just beginning.  I’m fairly certain that neither one of my toddlers slept well last night. There were more tears this morning than we’ve had in a long time (my own included.) As I was changing probably the worst diaper in history, the exhaustion set in. I was totally burned out. Continue Reading

Pushing Through the Pain Towards Your Victory in Jesus

When I find myself exhausted during a long run, it’s easy for me to concentrate on how tired and weak I feel. If I stayed in that mindset, however, I would probably find myself defeated. I have to change my thoughts in order to find the strength to keep going. I need to remind myself to breathe and to persevere. I tell myself that pushing through the pain will be worth it.

It is during these difficult moments that I develop the most strength as a runner, and the same is true in life. Learning to endure during a difficult run is very similar to enduring through life’s struggles. If life was never difficult, we wouldn’t have the opportunity for growth.

We usually learn more through our struggles than we do in the good times.

Continue Reading

How to Discover True Happiness (according to the Bible)

I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t have the desire to find true happiness and contentment in their life. Truth be told, we all search for it in different ways. We focus on our careers, our families, helping others, our faith, etc. all in the hope of finding true joy.

A famous author once said that in order to be truly happy in this life we all need “someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.” Biblically speaking, he was right… Continue Reading

Pace Yourself: Learning to Endure in the Faith

One of the most important aspects of running is learning how to pace yourself. It is essential for you to pace your overall training. When working towards an upcoming race, you can’t push yourself too hard. Training properly involves a gradual progression of miles and speed. Pushing yourself too hard, too fast will ultimately result in injury and burnout.

Another way a runner paces themselves is during their individual runs. For me personally, I have a much easier time pacing myself during training than I do during races. Nerves and adrenaline kick in at the starting line, and I find myself running too fast in the beginning. I end up burning myself out too quickly and have no energy left to finish the race. I literally have to remind myself to slow down when I start running. Continue Reading