This year for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge I have chosen a single word for each letter of the alphabet. Each of these words is important in the Bible. I am including a story in each post. Links from biblical references go to Bible Gateway.
Endure is a word with two meanings in the Bible. It means to last (a long time or for ever). It also means to suffer (or put up with something) over a period of time.
The refrain ‘His love endures for ever’ is repeated many times in the Bible. It refers to God’s love. Psalms in particular with these words are often used in worship.
1 Chronicles 16:34 His love endures for ever. (Video at end of this post.)
Psalm 37:18 Their inheritance will endure for ever.
Hebrews 12:2 Jesus endured the cross.
Paul looks back on his sufferings
I was writing from prison in Rome to my dear younger friend, Timothy, to prepare him for the hardships I knew he would have to endure in the future. Of course, I cannot write long letters myself. I have to dictate them to a trustworthy scribe.
I recalled the time I had been preaching in Persidion Antioch. After about two weeks there Barnabas and I had to move on because the Jewish leaders made it impossible for us to stay. Fortunately I had been able to preach to those, who were prepared to listen to the Good News. I pray that they will continue in the faith.
In my second letter to Timothy I was aiming to strengthen his resolve, unlike the time I had to write to the believers in Corinth, who needed correction. I had to remind the Corinthians of everything I had suffered for the sake of the gospel. I listed the details to convince them of my sincerity and resolve. I reminded them that I had been in prison more than any of the apostles. I had been flogged more severely, receiving 39 lashes on 5 different occasions, being beaten with rods and escaping from those, who tried to stone me to death. If that was not enough suffering, I have been shipwrecked three times. I reminded them of the other dangers I faced on my travels – bandits, dangers in the city, the countryside and at sea. I have been hungry, thirsty, cold and even naked. Many groups of people have been opposed to my mission. I have had to flee leaving my possessions behind.
Writing to Timothy I asked that he should bring me my cloak, so that I would not be cold in the winter ahead.
I remind myself of Psalm 34:19 The righteous person may have many troubles but the Lord delivers him from them all.
I remember writing to the Christians in Rome before I came here as a prisoner that ‘nothing can separate us from the love of Christ’. Romans 8:35-39. His love endures for ever.
Further reading: 2 Timothy 3:11 Paul’s sufferings
Acts 13:14-52 Paul and Barnabas in Pisidion Antioch.
2 Corinthians 11:23-33 Paul’s suffering and an escape from his enemies