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Enduring Under Trials

In Matthew 24 and Mark 13 Jesus gave a prophetic preview of the situation that will exist in the
world immediately prior to His return. Today we are seeing around us many of the conditions He
predicted. But Jesus also gave directions to believers for survival in these situations. The key
requirement can be stated in one word: endurance. Although it is often translated differently in
various translations—“patience,” “longsuffering” (KJV), “perseverance” (NASB), or “stand firm”
(NIV)—the best single translation is probably “endurance.”

o begin, let’s look at two specific passages. In In order to be saved, we must go all the way to the
each instance, Jesus is speaking of the break- end—and that will require endurance on our part. In
down of relationships and the widespread Mark 13:12–13, we read a similar prediction and
persecution of Christians. First, in Matthew 24: admonition:
Because lawlessness will abound, the love of many Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father
will grow cold. v. 12 his child; and children will rise up against their parents
When people become lawless, they also become and cause them to be put to death. And you will be
loveless. Too often we think of love as free and uninhibited, hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures
requiring no laws or discipline. But that is incorrect. Love to the end shall be saved.
and discipline go hand in hand. When discipline and law Again, we see a very somber picture: treachery and
break down, love grows cold. It is significant that the word disloyalty within family relationships, and Christians being
for “love” in this passage is agape, which is essentially the hated by all men. That is why Jesus said we must endure.
love of Christians. Jesus is not talking about the love of the
world growing cold, but rather the love of Christians What Endurance Produces
growing cold. That is a much more serious situation.
After foretelling this lack of love, Jesus adds this Some Scriptures speak generally about endurance
admonition in verse 13: and the tests we must all face; some offer principles on
But he who endures to the end shall be saved. how to endure. First in Romans 5:
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Therefore, having been justified One of the great proving grounds and among thorns, Jesus explains
by faith, we have peace with for our character development is the the type of person represented by
God through our Lord Jesus close, committed fellowship where each of these situations.
Christ, through whom also we we meet every week with the same When anyone hears the word of
have access by faith into this small group of people. As we share the kingdom, and does not
grace in which we stand, and our lives in this context, it often understand it, then the wicked
rejoice in hope of the glory of becomes uncomfortably clear that one comes and snatches away
God. And not only that, but we there are some areas in our character what was sown in his heart.
also glory in tribulations, know- that have never been dealt with. If we This is he who received seed by
ing that tribulation produces fail to expose ourselves to others, we the wayside. Matthew 13:19
perseverance [endurance]; per- can deceive ourselves about untested
The seed never gains entrance
severance, character. vv. 1–4 areas in our character and back off
into this person’s life at all, but just
Endurance produces character every time we face a test that would
lies on the ground until a bird
that has stood the test. In essence, expose those areas.
comes along and picks it up.
we are talking about the formation Somebody has said that fellow-
Jesus then goes on to describe two
of our character. We can rejoice ship is “Roof off, walls down.” We
kinds of persons who did receive the
(boast, glory and exult) in tribula- don’t mind getting the roof off
seed and began to produce fruit.
tion because only tribulation pro- because God sees through the roof
However, the fruit eventually came to
duces endurance. Endurance, in anyhow, but we can get pretty
nothing because they failed to pass
turn, produces proven character. uncomfortable when we let the walls
the tests to which they were
In James 1:2 we read, “My down so our fellow Christians can
subjected. The first group were those
brethren, count it all joy when you see in. There is no greater proving
who had “stony places”; the second
fall into various trials.” We need to ground for our Christian character
group were those who had “thorns.”
praise God that He counts us than close, committed fellowship
with believers. But he who received the seed on
worthy of the trials we go through,
stony places, this is he who hears
bearing in mind that the trial is
always for our own good. James The Tests the word and immediately re-
ceives it with joy; yet he has no
goes on to explain how this
What are the tests that we will root in himself, but endures only
seeming paradox works:
have to go through? One very for a while. For when tribulation
Knowing that the testing of your or persecution arises because of
simple outline is found in Matthew
faith produces patience [endur- the word, immediately he stum-
13, the well-known parable of the
ance]. But let patience have its bles. Now he who received seed
sower who spread the seed. In this
perfect work, that you may be among the thorns is he who
parable, Jesus speaks about the
perfect and complete, lacking hears the word, and the cares of
different kinds of soil, each repre-
nothing. James 1:3–4 this world and the deceitfulness
sentative of a different kind of
of riches choke the word, and he
James is saying that if we go person who hears the Word of God.
becomes unfruitful.
through the test and hold out, it will Describing how some seed falls
Matthew 13:20–22
shape every area of our character and by the wayside and is devoured by
personality. It will make us complete, birds before it can enter the ground, Very simply stated, there are two
fully-rounded Christians. and other seed falls on rocky ground kinds of tests: when life is too hard

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and when it is too easy. The first test The key phrase, “purpose of necessary to endure these trials.
is persecution; the second is pros- heart,” indicates that you must 2. Focusing on the Eternal. The
perity. Some people cannot stand the really make up your mind to stick second principle of endurance is
persecution; some cannot stand the with the Lord, regardless. If your found in Hebrews 11:27, which
prosperity. Some people can make it friends don’t, you will. Even if your refers to Moses, who grew up in
when they are persecuted, but when family doesn’t, you will. That is the Egypt destined to inherit the throne
God blesses them with a beautiful purpose of heart we need. as the son of the Pharaoh’s daughter.
home, two cars and a boat, they get Then, in Acts 14:22, we find He had education, wealth, social
much more wrapped up in the Barnabas and Paul exhorting new privilege—in fact, everything the
things of this world than in the converts in a similar way: world could offer. But at the age of
Kingdom of God. Strengthening the souls of the forty he turned his back on it, fled
There are others who receive the disciples, exhorting them to from Egypt, and spent the next
Word with joy, speak in tongues, continue in the faith, and forty years looking after a few sheep
give their testimony everywhere, saying, “We must through in the back side of the desert. The
and prophesy—they bask in the many tribulations enter the verse says of Moses:
blessings of God. But a few months kingdom of God.” By faith he forsook Egypt, not
later you can’t find them because
fearing the wrath of the king;
the moment opposition came, they New converts need to know there for he endured as seeing Him
just wilted away. is no other way into the kingdom of who is invisible.
The truth is, we have to endure God except through tribulation. I
both tests. We will be tested by tribu- That is the essence of endurance:
understand “the kingdom of God” in
lation and also by success, and we seeing Him who is invisible.
two senses: There is the future
must hold out through both. Let me Faith is the faculty that enables
kingdom, which Jesus will bring and
give four suggestions concerning the us to see that which is invisible. It
establish; but there is also the king-
biblical way to achieve endurance. is related to the unseen, “the
dom that we enter and live in now.
1. A Firm Commitment. The conviction of things not seen”
And it is through much tribulation
first one is that we make a (Hebrews 11:1, NASB). If we are to
that we come into kingdom living.
wholehearted commitment to Jesus hold out, the unseen world must
We will be subject to pressure in
Christ without any reservations. be more real to us than the seen.
every area of our lives.
This is the way a normal Christian Otherwise, we will fall in love with
When people come to the Lord,
walk should begin. the world system and turn our
we owe it to them to warn them
Here are two scriptural exhor- back on the unseen realities of
that if they are going to move into
tations to new converts. The first, God’s kingdom.
kingdom living, it will be through
in Acts 11:23, records what Barna- In 2 Corinthians 4:17–18, we read:
tribulation and opposition. It is
bas said to a new group of unfair to tell new converts that For our light affliction, which is
Christians in the city of Antioch: when they come to Jesus all of but for a moment, is working
their problems are solved. The fact for us a far more exceeding and
When he came and had seen
is, they will have problems as eternal weight of glory, while
the grace of God, he was glad,
Christians that they never before we do not look at the things
and encouraged them all that
knew existed. A firm commitment which are seen, but at the things
with purpose of heart they
to the Lord Jesus Christ will be which are not seen. For the
should continue with the Lord.

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things which are seen are Testament who fell, too. His name Finally, there is laid up for me
temporary, but the things which was Peter. Jesus spoke to Peter, the crown of righteousness,
are not seen are eternal. knowing that he was going to deny which the Lord, the righteous
It is important to see that affliction Him three times: Judge, will give me on that Day.
only works out God’s purpose for us And the Lord said, “Simon, 2 Timothy 4:8
while we keep our eyes on the Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked Paul was awaiting trial and
unseen. The unseen is the eternal and for you, that he may sift you as probable execution at the hands of
does not change. Spend time with wheat. But I have prayed for a very unjust ruler. But he said,
your Bible. Read it, meditate on it, you, that your faith should not “That is not the last word. There is
live in it, believe it, ask the Holy fail.” Luke 22:31–32 going to be another judgment
Spirit to make it real to you. Soon it Jesus did not pray that Peter day—a prize-giving day—and the
will become so real to you that would not deny Him, but that his Judge will be absolutely just.”
nothing in this world could tempt faith would not fail. Jesus was saying Some of us will be rather
you to be disloyal to Jesus Christ. to Peter, “Even though you deny Me, surprised to see who gets the gold
3. Not Giving Up. In addition to your faith will not fail. You will fall, medal. It will not be based on the
the need for a firm commitment to but you will get up again.” In the speed at which we ran, but rather
the Lord and keeping our eyes on same way, if you fall, just stretch out the faithfulness and steadfastness
the unseen, there is a third princi- your hand by faith, and let the Lord with which we served. If we will
ple: if you fail, don’t give up. One of pick you up. Don’t give up; the Lord stand the test, we will come out
the devil’s cleverest tricks is to say, has not given up on you. like gold refined by fire.
“You are a failure. You might as well 4. An Eye on the Prize. The Adapted from a New Wine article,
“Enduring Under Trials,” May 1980.
give up, because God has given up fourth principle is: remember the
on you.” Don’t believe him—he is a prize-giving. Not all the issues of
liar. In Psalm 37 David wrote: life are settled now. There are some For further study, we recom-
mend Derek Prince’s CD:
The steps of a good man are things that remain for the future. Endurance
ordered by the LORD, and He Paul writes his testimony of We are making this material available to
you at no charge. Just use the enclosed
delights in his way. Though he faith from his jail cell: “I have reply slip to request your copy.
fall, he shall not be utterly cast fought the good fight, I have Reproduction of articles from
the DPM Archive for free dis-
down; for the LORD upholds him finished the race, I have kept the tribution is permitted. To
receive regular teaching and
with His hand. vv. 23–24 faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). Those three encouragement by e-mail,
subscribe at
Remember that if you fall, you things go together. If you are going
will not be utterly cast down to keep the faith, you must fight
because the Lord has your hand. the fight. Faith is a fight. You
David knew that. Even though he cannot escape the fight and keep
had fallen terribly and tragically in the faith. You must fight the fight
the matter of Bathsheba, God to finish your race. Paul did all
forgave and restored him. He could three: he fought the fight, he
say, “Even when you fall, don’t give finished the race, and he kept the
Derek Prince Ministries
up. God will pick you back up.” faith. From then on, he was P.O. Box 19501
There was a man in the New waiting for the prize-giving. Charlotte, NC 28219

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