"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." (Hebrews 12:1-3)
Oswald Chambers wrote, "You cannot help suffering; it is a true and needful training for the soul that dares to be true to God." (My Utmost for His Highest)
The dictionary definition of perseverance is, "To persist in an idea, purpose, or task despite obstacles (Webster'). Or, in the Christian context, to continue in a state of grace to the end for our eternal reward. It is one thing to read about biographies and story's of people who went through great suffering and came out of it better than they entered it, and then compare it to ourselves struggling to find the keys to the car. It is one thing to hear of others and all about their journey of faith, and another thing to live it out in our personal lives. So the call for the Christian in diversity is to keep on track and He will take care of us because we belong to Christ. Whatever we face and go through, our Lord is there and we are in His arms. And when we realize this fact, we can persevere through anything because our Lord, King and Creator of the universe is there carrying us through.
It is essential for the capable leader to be focused on the goal ahead and be able to carry the task and their self through the tough times. Too many leaders get frustrated when things do not go as planned or their perceived way, and they give up, or neglect the responsibility.
It is not so much how we answer the question on the reason for suffering, but how we live it out in our lives and walk with Christ. Too many people are stuck in the question of it and never learn to trust and rely on our Lord, or learn to deal with it as a learning experience so we can be better prepared to be a servant of the Lord. Suffering is a natural aspect of the human experience as we inherited our sinful nature that corrupted all of God's creation, including us. When we accept Christ, we take on His righteousness as a covering, but the sinful nature is still there and we must confront and fight against it all of our Christian life. As we battle on, we grow and each instance becomes easier to handle, we grow in righteousness and sanctification. This is our spiritual growth, and the faithful and cheerful Christian is the one who perseveres regardless of the circumstance.
Since suffering is a natural aspect of life, we need to realize this and guard ourselves from it, whether it is physical, mental, emotional, financial, or spiritual. The Bible tells us many times to expect it and to be persistent when faced with adversity. Christ will give us the comfort and strength to press on, just look at the life of people like Joni Erickson Tada. Joni describes her paralysis as a crown, and the influence the Lord has used her for is incredible. From her books of incredible insight to her beautiful paintings, the Lord has indeed used her powerfully. She realized years ago her reward is yet to come and our adventure on this life is very short compared to the eternity to come. So we need to make the best of it as life deals us the curves and not to be overcome with frustration, but overcome with joy by the life we have in Christ. When things do not go our way, make sure we are going His way! Keep going as, "The Little Engine that Could."