The Word of God is life because Jesus speaks and the Spirit inspires, conveying what is in the Father’s heart. Today the Word of God is “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus,” and “Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” (1,3) Jesus is my source of strength
Being human is to have times of strength and happiness, and to have times of weakness and sadness. Being human is being courageous and fearful. When weak, sad, and fearful Jesus enables me to endure hardship and give me hope for the future in this world.
Three analogies are presented to help understand endurance; a soldier, an athlete, and a farmer. All three must endure hard labor if they are to win the battle, win the prize, and receive a crop.
A soldier respects his commanding officer. He wants his commanding officer to be happy with him. He accepts the drills given by his commanding officer even when the drills push him to his physical, mental, and hearts limit. He cares for nothing except to please his commanding officer. So I am to be with my commander Jesus. A commander is a source of encouragement, an example, a model to follow, and a source of strength.
An athlete does not break the rules. The rules of life are the Words and will of God. The principle of the cross of Christ is the example.