Nov6MonA Steely-Eyed Endurance November 6, 2017 Major Jennifer Hale
Recently, I was sitting in a meeting where Graham Kendrick’s song “For This I have Jesus” was played. If you are not familiar with this piece you can listen to it here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYxSXHgMFmg
It’s an older song no doubt but it’s message is still relevant to today. That is, for everything situation we have Jesus – joys, sorrows, dreams failures, pain, weakness, disappointments, regret, moments of elation. For all these things and more, we have Jesus.
There is one phrase in particular that caught my attention as I listened to that song again. It’s found in the third verse – “a steely-eyed endurance.” I have spent the last two weeks reflecting on that phrase. One of the definitions of steely is strength. Merriam Webster’s dictionary refers to a steely determination. Endurance is defined as “the ability to withstand hardship or adversity; especially: the ability to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity.” It’s a mindset that allows you to keep going no matter what the circumstances.
No doubt you can name any number of athletes that have faced fierce opposition and challenge and have somehow managed to be successful in their sport. My mind goes not to an athlete but to an incredible woman of God – Elisabeth Elliot. Elisabeth understood what it meant to have a steely-eyed endurance after she went to minister among the tribe of Auca Indians who had speared her husband to death as he tried to introduce this unreached tribe to Jesus. I also think of Salvation Army Officer’s and soldiers around the world who are working in less than favorable circumstances yet with strength of determination that can only come from the Holy Spirit. They truly are committed to the cause of Christ.
This steey-eyed endurance that Kendrick references in his song comes when a person has their eyes fixed on Jesus. That’s what Hebrews 12:1-2 talks about and Eugene Peterson paraphrases it this way:
…It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
What great advice! Study how he did it! Listen friends, the battle against sin and the enemy is strong. It’s time to put your armor on. Now is not the time to be discouraged by your circumstances. The enemy’s attack is strong, but we serve a God who is stronger – and the victory is ours. So let’s encourage one another in the faith, read our Bible, pray and ask the Lord to give us that steely-eyed endurance that will help us fight and win – for this we have Jesus!