Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
When was the last time you read the story of Joseph? What must it have felt like to have gone through all that Joseph had gone through…family betrayal, being in a foreign land against his will, falsely accused and unjustly being thrown into prison? I don’t think anyone would disagree that it would have been extremely difficult to endure those circumstances.
So how did Joseph endure? First of all, endurance isn’t just stamina or toughing it out – it’s a little more complex. Endurance is defined as continuing under pain or distress without resistance or yielding to the pressure. I’m inclined to say that through a biblical lens endurance can be defined as making it through without yielding to the temptation to sin. Can you remember the last time you truly endured a difficult circumstance? A time in which you made it through without resistance or yielding to pressure (sin)?
It may seem impossible! Yet the story of Joseph gives us hope! It is here in which we see the character of endurance lived out. Joseph knew where his strength ultimately came from, it wasn’t from himself, but was from God. Philippians 4:13 reminds us that through Christ we can do all things for it is He who gives us the strength to endure our trials.
Call to Action
How can we possess the endurance that Joseph had?
- MENTALLY – cast away anxiety. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
- PHYSICALLY – avoid unhealthy means of yielding to the pressure of difficult circumstances. Resist the temptation in finding refuge in something that will end up causing additional harm to yourself or to your family.
- SPIRITUALLY – seek God’s Word. John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim’s Progress, found strength and comfort in Scripture during his time of imprisonment. The humility of relying on strength given by God not only allowed him to endure a difficult circumstance but it sharpened his spiritual state and inspired him to write a book that would impact the world.
If God sends us on strong paths, we are provided strong shoes.
Corrie ten Boom