Exercising Self-control develops endurance

2 Peter 1:5-8 5For this very reason, adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence),    6And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety),    7And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love.   8For as these qualities are yours and increasingly abound in you, they will keep [you] from being idle or unfruitful unto the [full personal] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

Exercising self-control in our lives leads to the development of patience. Ultimately patience leads to us obtaining every promise we are believing for. I once heard Dr. Norvel Hayes say- “Faith doesn’t wear a watch”. Many times the things we are expecting to see in our lives take a little time. If we don’t quit on the promise, we will eventually see the harvest. The problem most of the time is, we don’t have the endurance to see it come to pass. Often we believe God for a period of time, but when we don’t see the manifestation of what we are believing for we give up. Endurance is what will enable to us to continue on even when we aren’t seeing results. How does self-control help us to endure?

Let’s look at what self-control means. Self-discipline, willpower, strength of mind and strength of will are all components of self-control. Think about a marathon runner, they run for 25 miles without stopping. I personally can only run for about three minutes at a time, and that’s after building up my stamina! Recently I decided I wanted to start running, so I went out one day to begin to run. I walked for three minutes, and then ran for one minute, then walked for three, ran for one etc….. I’ll tell you, I had a rough time. Since I wasn’t in shape I was out of breath, my lungs were screaming, my legs were shaking. But I watched my watch and made myself run for a complete 60 seconds. Every day I would go out and run. I would start with walking three minutes, running one, walking two then running two walking two running three. I was building myself up. Even when I wanted to quit, I would look at the watch and say only one more minute, thirty seconds left, ten seconds to go. I forced myself to do what I didn’t want to do. That took self-control. I had to discipline my body, I had to strengthen my mind that no matter how much I wanted to stop I wasn’t going to. I had to strengthen my will that I was going to run. I still can’t run a marathon, but I know how to train myself now. It’s the same way with things in the spirit. We have to train our minds, train our will, and train our emotions to continue on even when it looks hard, when we want to give up, and when we can’t see an end in sight. Don’t quit! Exercise self-control and that will lead to the endurance you need to receive your inheritance from the Lord.

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