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 Endurance

 "Now some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and turned the crowds into a murderous mob. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, apparently dead. [20] But as the believers stood around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe." (Acts 14:19-20 NLT)

 Paul was stoned to death and got up and went back to work the next day.   Think about that, he didnít even take a sick day.

 Another time, he was thrown in prison but he didn't forget about his mission.  Acts 16:25 says "Around midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening." (NLT)

 Paul could have been depressed and discouraged; instead, he used his circumstance to further his mission. Greatness is never born without birth pains.  It is born in spite of discouragement and heartaches.  Who knows, the discouragement you face today could be the context for your next victory.

 This side of our leather bound bibles, it is easy to gloss over these passages of scripture and only reflect upon the great miracles and success of Paul's ministry.  Truth be told, he faced discouragements and impediments that would thwart most people's advances.   Yet, he remained true and pressed on.
 At the end of his life, Paul wrote, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Tim. 4:7 (NIV) To Paul, his mission was a battle to fight, a course to complete and a commitment to keep.

 If Paul had to fight a fight and run a race, donít you think you will too?  Fighting a fight means you will have opposition.  Instead of being discouraged, remember that those problems might just be the context for your next victory. Finishing a race means it will take endurance and effort. Underline the word finish in your mind.  Effectiveness takes time.

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