So, as I was thumbing through one of my other Bibles this morning in search of a different translation of a verse, I noticed a bulge of papers in the front cover. I found a a chapter of a book that someone had copied for me a few years back. That person was Camlon Rooke, now in the Navy, but formerly our Youth Pastor and one who had a tremendous effect on me and many others during his time with us. In fact I was just out to dinner the other night with another local pastor who commented…”Man there was a time where disciples were just pouring out of your place….who was that?!” That…was Pastor Cam. I am really missing him right about now.
Anyway, these last few days for whatever reason, things haven’t been “clicking.” My wife says that I have been “on edge”…yet not sure why. I keep searching the Word, praying, confessing, repenting…but there didn’t seem to be any momentum there. Until I read that old copy of a chapter in the front of an old Bible. The book it was copied from was The Roots of Endurance, by John Piper. In it he says many wonderful encouraging things.
He starts by confronting the misconception that life is supposed to be a pain-free and trouble-free existence. You may have already knew that, but it’s a good reminder. “Frustration is normal, disappointment is normal, sickness is normal. Conflict, persecution, danger, stress – they are all normal.”
Piper asks a key question “How can we keep on loving and serving people when life has so much pain and disappointment? What are the roots of endurance?”
As Hebrews 10:36 says “We have need of endurance.” YES I DO. 🙂 How ’bout you?
So, what do we do? We need to remember that endurance and perseverance are a GIFT from God and we need to beg him for more – to not live for ourselves, but for Him. (2 Cor 5:15)
PRAY for endurance. Like quite possibly my favorite hymn “Come Thou Fount”
O to grace how great a debtor, daily I’m constrained to be
Let thy goodness like a fetter bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, Lord take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.
Piper calls us – “Pray this. Seal my will to your with an unbreakable application of your eternal covenant! Keep me! Preserve me!”
This then, is a command of God that he enables us to do. (Heb 13:20-21) “He promises to do for us what he commands from us…it is not a “just do it” ethic, it is not a moral improvement program, it is not a “Judeo-Christian ethic”…it is a deeply cross-embracing life that knows the Christ of the Bible as the Son of God.”
Amen. Thank you God. Thank you Jesus. (and thanks, Pastor Cam…I miss you brother.)