The Springs of Endurance
George H. Morrison
We have a Scots proverb which says "He that tholes1 overcomes." It means that he who is able to endure has learned one secret of the overcoming life. To endure is to bear patiently whatever the revolving years may bring us. It is to accept quietly and cheerfully the intractable elements of life. It is to pass through difficult or tragic hours free from any embittering of spirit, for to grow bitter is always to be beaten. We say "what can't be cured must be endured"; but that is scarcely the endurance of the Scriptures. Such endurance is a joyless thing. It is forced submission to necessity. The endurance of which the Bible speaks is of a happier character than that; it is a glad and even grateful acquiescence. Paul and Silas in the prison at Philippi did not accept things in a joyless way. They were happy; there was a lilt within their hearts; they sang so loudly that the prisoners heard them (Acts 16:25). And that is the endurance of the Scripture: the bearing of things in a happy kind of fashion, an acceptance with the note of triumph in it. Of that gracious and beautiful endurance the New Testament indicates three sources.
The first of these is faith-a burning and bright faith within the heart. That is the thought in the apostle's mind when he tells us to take the shield of faith (Eph. 6:16). A shield is not a weapon of offense. It is different from sword or spear. A shield is a protective bit of armor. It guards the soldier amid blows and buffetings. And Paul means that if we are to be guarded amid the blows and buffetings of life, there must be radiant faith within the heart. If our darker hours have no meaning in them, if they be quite devoid of plan or purpose, if there be nothing in life but accident or chance, the highest man can achieve is resignation. But if God be love, and if everything that comes to us arrives in the perfect ordering of the Father, then another temper becomes possible. ...
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