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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Faith Is: To endure as pain demands

To endure as pain demands:  the fifth faith characteristic listed in Alton’s letter requires a look at phraseology.  In what sense does pain demand?  Several examples may help clarify:  road hazards demand sturdy tires be installed on cars; long hours in the library demand student endurance; the pain of strenuous training demands endurance for athletes; the pain of combat exercises demand endurance of boot camp soldiers.  Rough situations including the experience of pain demand endurance.  This pain can be physical or emotional.  When someone faces the demands of pain, faith is their closest ally.  For faith implies an acceptance of reality and the conditions it presents followed closely by a fighting attitude to endure and in this important sense to prevail—for endurance by sheer spiritual strength is itself a great accomplishment.  “Why me” whines and a defeatist attitude of victimization are not the harvest of faith. Neither is envy or resentment of those more fortunate.  To endure as pain demands is in the end an awesome spiritual victory. 

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