For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.
David Kuehls recalls when his dad, Ernie, a fifty-something out-of-shape math professor, decided to start running. “He was a bit overweight and he soon found out he had no endurance at all.” Ernie didn’t make it half a mile that first day; but he kept at it and eventually achieved his goal of training four months and running a four-hour marathon. His exact time was 3 hours and 58 minutes.1
Notice Kuehls' statement: “He had no endurance at all.” Endurance is stamina. It’s the ability of the lungs and legs to keep going the distance. According to the writer of Hebrews, we need endurance like that.
Christianity isn’t a spectator faith. It’s a marathon on the straight and narrow road, through ups and downs, over hills and valleys, until we reach Home.
“Therefore… since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
Run the straight race through God’s good grace, / Lift up thine eyes and seek His face; / Life with its ways before us lies, / Christ is the path, and Christ the prize.
John S. B. Monsell in his hymn “Fight the Good Fight with All Thy Might”
1David Kuehls, 4 Months to a 4-Hour Marathon (New York: Penguin, 2006), vii-viii.