Tucked away in the folds of Hebrews 11 is a two-word biography worth a second glance: “he endured” (11:27). The “he” refers to Moses. Moses was the one who hung tough, who refused to give in or give up, who decided that no amount of odds against him would cause him to surrender. He had staying power. He possessed the disciplines of durability.
He endured, despite the contempt of Pharaoh, the mightiest monarch of that era. He endured, despite the stubbornness of the Hebrews who grumbled, blamed, complained, and rebelled. He endured, despite the criticism of Miriam and Aaron, his own sister and brother. When ten out of twelve spies came back with their nay-sayings, Moses stood fast. When Korah and Dathan and Abiram led a cold, cunning conspiracy against him, Moses remained “resolute.”
Maybe the great Apostle of Grace had such things in mind when he introduced his classic essay on the armor of God by saying, “and having done everything . . . stand firm” (Eph. 6:13).
Stand firm when the wicked appear to be winning. Stand firm in times of crisis. Stand firm even when no one will know you compromised. Stand firm when big people act contemptibly small. Stand firm when people demand authority they don’t deserve. Stand firm . . . keep your head . . . stay true . . . endure!
I have no idea where this finds you. For all I know, you are stronger than ever, pressing on with a full tank of resolve. That’s great. However, you may be getting shaky. Your normally thick hide of moral purity and ethical integrity may be wearing thin. It’s possible you’ve begun to listen too closely to your critics or need others’ approval too much. Maybe you’ve started giving in to the kids in little areas you once resisted because you’re tired, sort of shrugging off your better judgment.
Moses endured—even in his eighties. How? The same verse tells us: by focusing his attention on “Him who is invisible.” He fixed his heart and soul on the One who, alone, judges righteously. He continually reminded himself that his sole purpose in life was to please the Lord . . . to obey Him . . . to glorify Him . . . to gain His approval at all cost.
Whatever it is you’re facing, stand strong. Walk in quiet confidence, not veiled pride. Be sure without being stubborn . . . firm without being unteachable . . . enduring but not discourteous . . . full of truth balanced with grace.
Exacting indeed are the disciplines of durability.
“To be torn unmercifully by external forces, and still to preserve one’s inward integrity, is to know the discipline that endures” (V. Raymond Edman).