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When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives,my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends!Realize that they come to test your faith andto produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character,men of integrity with no weak spots.
James l:2-4 (J.B. Phillips Paraphrase)

I’ve been thinking about the difference between patience and endurance. So I began searching for and reading verses about endurance, endure, etc, listed in my Concordance. Those verses clarified for me the difference between the two. You may already understand it.

Webster sees that difference:

  • patience: being patient; calm endurance
  • endure: to hold up under pain, to tolerate; to continue; last; bear pain without flinching

We exercise patience when the kids are “restless”, when your wife carelessly spends too much money on groceries or clothes; when we are in a rush and the light turns red; when the man of the house is late for supper or when we have been placed in the role of “care-giver”. All of those things do require a calm endurance and Christ will live through us to give us that required/desired calm endurance.

But the verses that I read concerning endurance were dealing with some situation that had become “unbearable.” God was very patient with His chosen people, but the time came when He ceased to be able to endure the harlotry of his people (Jeremiah 44:22). Most of us have heard about or researched the “end times”. Bad things are going to happen; families will be torn asunder; persecution of Believers will be the order of the day; evil will run rampant (Matt. 24:4-28). And the Bible says that we must “endure to the end” (Matthew 24:13). Endurance: the ability to last.

There comes a time when patience may “wear thin” and that calm demeanor becomes endurance—we tolerate, we bear the conditions without flinching, we continue to exhibit a calm endurance but we are holding up under adversity/pain. At this time in your life you may be “enduring” suffering; you may be “enduring” a relationship that has become very difficult between you and your spouse or your children, or in your work.

Esther asks when told about the suffering predicted for her people: “For how can I endure to see the calamity which shall befall my people, and how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?” (Esther 8:6)[1]Jeremiah says: “Know that for Your sake, O Lord, I endure reproach” (Jeremiah 20:9). Hebrews tells us that Jesus, for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame. . . . (Heb. 12:2). Again: for consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself (Heb. 12:3).

We are exhorted to “patiently endure”. So we have the choice when endurance becomes necessary, to endure what is happening patiently or to fret, complain, try to find a way out, or cut and run. We see in Christ “patience endurance” during that time when even His chosen disciples rejected him and fled; we see in Christ “patience endurance” during the hours before the crucifixion and as He was tortured to death. That same Christ lives in me. Oh, there is no way that I can endure as He did, but I’m not expected to do that! He can—and He will—do it all for me as I allow Him to be my very Life! And I will be amazed at my “patient enduring” even as my world is falling apart.

Lord, our world is truly “waiting for the Sonrise.” And while we are waiting, we are going to be called on to endure. What a mess we have made of Your plan, Your world, Your Church! If we would only do as You have told us we wouldn’t be in this mess, but Your children are not always obedient. We do not “trust and obey.” Thank You for Your patience with us and thank You that You will “endure” through us. We confess our desperate need.

Here are some verses to get you started on your research. Have fun!

  • Proverbs 18:14
  • II Corinthians 1:6
  • II Corinthians 6:4
  • I Thessalonians 2:14
  • II Timothy 3:11
  • Hebrews 10:32
  • Hebrews 10:36

Esther is a fascinating story. A real “page turner.” Read it. You’ll agree.

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.