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Love... always perseveres (1 Corinthians 13:7)

Endurance, Perseverance, Steadfastness


PART 1: Word Definition (Including its Contrast with "Patience")

Its contrast with PATIENCE / LONGSUFFERING (found in 1 Cor 13:4]: The following contrasts form a general rule or guideline. Exceptions may exist (but would be indicated by context).

Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon:

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words:

Verses omitted from this study:

Luke 2:43 (Jesus "stayed behind" in Jerusalem) and Acts 17:14 (Timothy "stayed" at Berea). These verses focus on "remaining" in a geographical location.

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PART 2: OUTLINE - What does the Bible say about ENDURANCE?

[** Read the context of these verses. **]

A.   Our Obligation to Endure (Endurance as a Requirement)

  1. Learning it, going after it, making it a part of our life.
  2. We need it.

B.   Made Possible Because of What God Has Done

  1. God gives it to us - Romans 15:5.

  2. A prayer for God's strength, in order to have endurance - Colossians 1:11.

  3. A prayer for God's guidance into Christ's endurance - 2 Thessalonians 3:5.

C.   A Part of Life, for Those Who Belong to Christ

  1. It's a part of being "in Jesus" - Revelation 1:9.

  2. It's one of the ways that love expresses itself - 1 Corinthians 13:7. (This love is a part of our new nature, in Christ.)

  3. NOTE: These verses, which express the fact of endurance, go hand-in-hand with the verses that command us to have endurance. The person who is truly in Christ will learn to obey what God commands.

D.   How Endurance Grows

  1. Growth through trials. (Trials "exercise" it.)
  2. Growth through our efforts to add it to our faith - 2 Peter 1:6 (read also the context). [Various other character qualities are also listed. These characteristics must be present in our lives, in increasing measure - see verse 8.]

  3. Growth through encouragement.

E.   Endurance and Trials

  1. We need to have endurance, when trials come.
  2. If we are willing to endure our trials, we will be blessed.
  3. We can expect trials (caused by those who hate Jesus), but if we endure to the end, we will gain life/salvation.
  4. A warning: Make sure your suffering is for the right reason!

F.   Why is Endurance Necessary? (The Results or "Fruits" of It)

  1. Spiritual growth and maturity.
  2. Some of the results that can exist now (in this present life):
  3. It's impact on our attitude toward the future (with an emphasis on eternity).
  4. Some of the results that will occur in the future:

G.   Examples to consider

  1. Jesus, our ultimate example.
  2. Some of the people who can be used as examples. [A focus here on individual people.]
  3. Some specific things about Paul's endurance.
  4. Some groups of people ("churches") who were good examples of endurance/perseverance.
  5. A Warning - Jesus knows the extent of our endurance. (Examples)

H.   A Few Misc. Comments

  1. The word "encouragement" (or "comfort," or a similar word) is also found, in the context of some of these verses. Often endurance and encouragement go together. Romans 15:4-5; 2 Corinthians 1:3-7; Hebrews 12:1-3, 5.

  2. The word "patience" is found in the context of some of these verses. This word focuses on our response to difficult people, whereas the word "endurance" (the main emphasis in this specific study) focuses on our response to difficult circumstances. 1 Corinthians 13:4, 7; Colossians 1:11; 2 Timothy 3:10; James 5:7-8, 10-11.

  3. Various other words make reference to related concepts. One example found in these verses: When you have perseverance/endurance, you can "bear with" (or "put up with" or "endure") various trials of life - 2 Thessalonians 1:4. (These are two different words in the New Testament Greek language.)

Dennis Hinks © 2001

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