January 18, 2017
Volume 22, Number 3
The region in which I live, like many others around the U.S., has been experiencing unusual cold in recent days. This morning the temperature was 5 degrees above zero. Most of the schools are closed because of icy roads in some of the mountainous areas. You can be sure that many conversations are centered on the weather.
We sometimes speak of not being able to endure the cold weather much longer, but is that true? I remember one night here in the early 1980s when readings dropped to -21! We did a lot of shivering, but we managed to get through it. We can endure much more extreme conditions than we think we can.
In the Yakutia region of Russia there’s a cold snap going on right now. There the thermometer has dropped as low as -88.6! According to the Associated Press article of January 16, 2018, schools routinely are in session even during -40 degree weather. But when conditions are so cold that eyelashes freeze, even there schools will close.
Christians nearly 2,000 years ago received this exhortation: “For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise” (Hebrews 10:36). These Christians had already been through much, the writer reminded them: “… you endured a great struggle with sufferings … for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods” (Hebrews 10:32,34).
That’s pretty astonishing, if you ask me. People often see their goods plundered, but how can anyone accept such an event “joyfully”?! The writer went on to explain: “… knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven” (Hebrews 10:34). With a hope for heaven burning strongly in their hearts, the limits of what they could endure rose dramatically.
A bit later the writer gave the strongest motivation possible for enduring such hardships: “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls” (Hebrews 12:3). Jesus endured so much because of His love for us. Will that not help us to endure whatever we must?
Focusing on Jesus’ sacrifice will help stretch the limits of what we can endure for Him. Don’t you think that’s one reason why Christians are called to partake of the Lord’s Supper each Sunday? “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).
Is my love strong enough that I will endure hardships? “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). He gave His all for me; may I give my best for Him!
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
Copyright, 2018, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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