Can you think of a time when you were really persevering? Sometimes we can push through some very difficult things if we know the reward at the end is worth it. What comes to mind is when I gave birth to my kids. Though it was painful, I could endure anything for the sake of bringing these adorable children into the world. When the Lord exhorts us to endure hardships in the end times, He motivates us by showing us the prize at the end.
There are many passages in the Bible that give us a clue into how wonderful our eternal life will be. Revelation 2 and 3 open our eyes to see that it is well worth the fight to the finish line. God will give us a new name that He individually chose for us. He will write it on a white stone and present it to us in heaven. We will each sit with the Lord on a throne. We will have authority over nations. We will even get to eat a piece of Manna (the heavenly bread the Israelites lived on for forty years in the desert). Jesus will give us the crown of life and acknowledge our name before the Father and His angels. We will walk with the Lord dressed in white, for “He will find us worthy”. Yes, we will be in Paradise.
This is not a fairy tale. God made a point of telling John to write down this vision so that all believers will be motivated to run the race to the end, even in the midst of great trials and suffering. I personally am grateful to know that He will “keep me from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth” (Revelation 3:10).
Paul tells us not only to run the race, but to run it in such a way that we will get the prize at the end (1 Corinthians 9:24). At the end of his life, he rejoiced that he “fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). The prize is amazing at the end. No day in this life will compare to the day the Lord presents us with our reward of eternal life in His Presence.
So let us heed the words of the author of Hebrews.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses (the believers who have gone before us), let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” - Hebrews 12:1.