Although the word refers to humans standing firm in the face of hardship, persecution or scorn, it is important to note the constant assurance in the Bible that God’s love, mercy, faithfulness and righteousness endure forever (e.g. Psalm 118, 136).
Emphasis upon endurance is common in the New Testament where it is linked with
patience and suffering. St Paul is certain that endurance is honed by suffering, is character building and is characterised by love (Romans 5:3-4; I Corinthians 4:12 – 13). It is linked with self-control, godliness (2 Peter 1:6) and steadfastness.
At its root, endurance is recognition that life is sometimes difficult and painful, and that it is important not to give up in the face of adversity.
Jesus endured rejection, abuse and the cross, and his followers are warned that they may well have to share that pain as persecution took hold. Discipleship is depicted as ‘taking up the cross daily’ and following in Jesus’ footsteps (Luke 9:23).
Endurance and perseverance are only possible where there is hope and that hope is based on the enduring nature of God’s love and faithfulness. Even Jesus, for all his strength and
ability to endure, looked to his disciples to help and sustain him by watching and praying with him (Matthew 26).