Coffee Chat 14 – How do I endure?

coffee chat

We haven’t had a coffee chat in forever! I have missed these posts. I hope y’all will grab a cup of tea or coffee and throw in your two cents today!

As I have mentioned in several posts, I am working on memorizing Hebrews 12. It’s coming along, albeit slowly. At this point I don’t care if it takes me three months instead of two because the effort has been so edifying!

The preceding chapter (Hebrews 11) describes what faith is and gives and abundance of examples. It shows that faith involves action, sacrifice and obedience. So in Hebrews 12.1, when the writer says “Therefore…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” We are told to run with endurance. Last time I checked, running was an active thing and endurance means you don’t take a short sprint and then sit for awhile.

Different forms of the word endurance are used 4 times within the first seven verses of Hebrews 12. When a word is repeated in writing it means one of two things: either the author didn’t have a thesaurus handy or they’re trying to draw your attention to something important. In this case, it’s the latter. Endurance is part of our Christian faith.

When it comes to physical activity, I am NOT an endurance runner. I can walk fast for long stretches of time, but I’ve never been much of a runner because it absolutely kills my knees. I know many runners who say it’s about pace and long-term training.

For today’s coffee chat, I want to hear your thoughts on how we endure in our race of faith. What do you do to stay “in shape” and “active?” How do we train for this race and how do we keep pressing forward even when our whole being is protesting against us? I know that verse two of Hebrews 12 tells us to look at Jesus for inspiration, but I want you to share what you do to keep Jesus as your focus and how you train and pace yourself. Another thought—are we the ones doing the training and pacing or is it God?

I look forward to your comments!

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20 thoughts on “Coffee Chat 14 – How do I endure?

  1. insanitybytes22 February 11, 2016 / 08:51

    Ahhh, such fun questions! I have to really focus on taking care of myself in order to endure, hydrate myself with living water I suppose, like one might stop for a drink in the middle of a marathon. Engaging in some praise and worship always seems to refresh me. Even when I can’t do that formally, sometimes singing hymns loudly in the car is enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu February 11, 2016 / 09:11

      Indeed! Hydration is crucial—Both taking in the word and pouring out praise. I love singing in the car as well. As someone who finds great joy in music, I find singing to be very invigorating. Great thoughts, IB!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wally Fry February 11, 2016 / 08:59

    Coffee is good. Chat is good. God’s Word is good. Fellowship with others is good. This is just all good my friend.

    For me, discipline is the key. I love Paul’s analogies of sports, because the analogy fits very well for me. Not that I play sports, because I don’t having the coordination of a 12 legged man.

    But the concepts work well. I am a creature of routing and discipline. If I don’t do that, honestly I meander hopelessly. I tend to do the same things all of the time, every time. I study at this time. I pray at this time. I blog at this time. And I try very hard to not let anything else infringe on those allotted places for the things I have decided are important. Focus and discipline is the key for me to keep the thing’s of God in mind, and the junk out.

    The downside is, I tend to be so focused on my routine that I have trouble loosening up. I get quite agitated when my discipline is interrupted by something like people actually wanting to talk and stuff, or Lord forbid have some spontaneous fun. I am working on that LOL. But for now I also plan my fun and talking out, which sort of defeats the purpose!

    I love these questions!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Elihu February 11, 2016 / 09:17

      Routine is important. I went to a health conference in November and the speaker mentioned the importance of regular exercise, particularly in the morning, to keep our cortisol levels up and our energy strong. Likewise, having regular time with God keeps our spiritual stamina high. While I was in Texas, my routine got completely turned around and I’ve been spending the past few days trying to regroup. It’s much easier to do when you are already “in-shape” so to speak.

      Being in-shape also allows you to learn flexibility for those off-times you’re referring too. (I don’t like having my routine thrown either! 😉)

      Thanks for the great thoughts, Wally!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Wally Fry February 11, 2016 / 10:00

        You added a great point there. If we have a routine, we can modify it. If we have nothing, then chaos can take over more easily. Routine means I can pick up where I got distracted more easily.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Elihu February 11, 2016 / 11:11

        Absolutely! I have long been convinced that having a plan and getting slightly off course will get you closer to the goal than no plan. For example, every month we draw up a budget. I can’t tell you how many times some random thing arose that trashed my carefully concocted plan; however, I was far less likely to get in over my head with that plan in place! Keep on keepin’ on!

        Like

  3. Butch February 11, 2016 / 10:07

    Frequent visits to the Old Testsment helps. We can see how God worked with and for Israel.
    Deuteronomy 7: God is telling the people He is working for them, not because they had been anything special, but in part so He could demonstrate His power.
    Look at verse 22 The LORD your God will clear away these nations before you little by little. You may not make an end of them at once, lest the wild beasts grow too numerous for you.
    Look at the detail in God’s plan.
    He does that for us too. We need to stop and say thank you Lord. The valleys will not be so deep if we do.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Elihu February 11, 2016 / 13:16

      Yes! Gratitude opens our eyes to progress. Seeing how far God has lead us makes the path forward a little less daunting somehow. Great point, Butch!

      Like

  4. Ufuomaee February 11, 2016 / 21:57

    I think also trials and tribulations have their place in helping up to endure. As we see God bring us out of every situation, we have develop perseverance even in tougher situations. This perserverance then leads to the building of our character and so on. The key is to use every situation as an opportunity to learn and grow.

    Cheers, Ufuoma.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Elihu February 12, 2016 / 07:24

      You are so correct, Ufuoma. In endurance training, your body has to be pushed a little harder and suffer a little more so you can run longer distances. This training is of the utmost importance, but we often resist it. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his beloved Son; He asked Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to go through fire; Jesus called Peter to step out on a stormy sea. He calls us to trust and that is the hardest part of our training.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ufuomaee February 12, 2016 / 07:30

        I like that…trust is the hardest part 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Elihu February 12, 2016 / 07:39

        That reminds me, I did a series a long time ago on being trained to trust using both Gideon and Moses. (https://elihuscorner.com/?s=Trained+to+trust) I have noticed that many amazing heroes of faith didn’t just go through fire on the first go, it started with little things like eating vegetables instead of meat or throwing nets on the other side of the boat. 😊

        Like

  5. jacquelineobyikocha February 13, 2016 / 08:46

    I try to practice what I call God centered thoughts the whole day, asides from my devotions. In all that I am doing, I just try to have my thoughts and actions reflect grace. Though some days I fall short.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu February 13, 2016 / 09:22

      We all fall short. I like what you said about God-centered thoughts. My dad used to say there were days he found himself off-center, which meant his mind and heart weren’t lined up and focused and Christ. I always liked that concept. Thanks for joining the coffee chat Jacqueline!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. beckielindsey February 13, 2016 / 18:48

    Not only did I enjoy your post, but I also learned some valuable things in the comments! I won’t repeat some of the things already mentioned. Yes, routine and discipline are critical for me, but I’ve learned that interruptions are usually from God. So I’ve learned to say, “Yes, Lord?” when I get interrupted. Another thing is gratitude, praise and worship all throughout the day. Blessings, Elihu!.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu February 14, 2016 / 09:44

      Beckie, your comment about interruptions reminds of Elisabeth Elliot who used to say something along the lines of, “interruptions are God’s divine appointments.” With 3 young kids, interruptions are standard daily fare and I’m still trying to accept all these “appointments” as it were. I totally agree with what you’re saying. Learning how to respond appropriately to such things is a huge part of endurance training. Great thoughts!

      Like

  7. Stacy di Anna February 14, 2016 / 17:20

    Love this post! This has been MY bible verse since my husband got so sick 10 years ago. (I think you read about that on my site). Endurance, and never giving up, these are mental and emotional encouragements for me, rather than physical. I use this verse as motivation to stay positive, to remember to find joy in ordinary, everyday things (even if those things are mundane). It’s also a reminder to me that our paths are not always straight and smooth, but to keep pressing on, running the race that is part of our bigger plan. This verse found me at a time when I most needed it in life. Thank you for sharing it today, such an inspiration and comfort. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu February 15, 2016 / 09:59

      Yes, I did read your story and it was truly touching and inspiring. Could you reply with a link in case my readers want to read it as well?

      I agree, our paths are not always straight and smooth. We often ask God to remove the trial, when we ought to be asking that he help us carry it. It is the carrying and the persevering that is needed. As you say, it is “part of the bigger plan.” I hope that you continue to find joy in the Lord and the everyday things. God be with you.

      Liked by 1 person

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