Strong faith is the foundation on which a strong will to endure must be built. By developing unwavering faith in Jesus Christ, we will be better able to endure adversity well. Coupled with faith we must also have determination. Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary defines determination as “the mental habit of settling upon some line of action with a fixed purpose to adhere to it; adherence to aims or purposes; resoluteness.” The phrase the dictionary uses to put the word in context is “a man of determination.” Let us be men and women of determination, strictly obeying the commandments of our loving God; determined to succeed no matter what obstacle is placed in our paths.
In order to endure trials well, we must have discipline. We must not let ourselves become enslaved to TV, the Internet, video games and other frivolous pursuits. By engaging excessively in such distractions, we are idling away our precious time. With discipline, we can refrain from such amusements and engage in more worthwhile activities. By instituting stricter discipline in our lives, we will be better able to withstand the vices we could fall into in attempts to escape our trials.
Prayer is also essential in endurance. We must humble ourselves, get on our knees and thank Heavenly Father for all of our blessings, even our trials. Furthermore, in the midst of our trials we should pray for the strength to endure. If we have the necessary faith, determination and discipline, our prayers will be answered and we will receive the strength we seek.
At the end of the movie Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker demonstrates many characteristics essential for endurance. First, he obeys the command of both Yoda and the ghost of Obi-Wan Kenobi by facing his father, Darth Vader, so that he can complete his Jedi training. While on the forest moon of Endor, Luke surrenders himself to The Empire’s guards, who take him to Darth Vader and The Emperor. He shows the courage of faith in the encounter, not knowing beforehand how the meeting will end or even if he will make it out alive. He has a determination to succeed, faith in The Force and faith that there is still good in his father. As the meeting begins, the Emperor tries to incite anger in young Luke by showing him the beating the Rebel force is taking outside the Death Star. The Emperor’s tactics work for a little while as Luke engages his father in a duel with their light sabers. After cutting off his father’s hand, Luke allows discipline to take over, throws his light saber to the ground and announces to The Emperor that he will never turn to the Dark Side. Seeing this, The Emperor tells Luke that since he will not turn to the Dark Side he will die. The Emperor then starts shocking Luke with what looks like lightning coming from his fingertips. Luke exhibits longsuffering in enduring The Emperor’s wrath. Unable to watch The Emperor kill his only son, Darth Vader feels compassion and with his last ounce of strength picks up The Emperor and throws him down a seemingly bottomless shaft of the Death Star. Luke’s faith, determination, discipline, obedience and longsuffering help him endure and succeed.
Seldom will we know the reason we undergo specific trials while they are happening. Later on, when the tribulation has passed, looking back we realize why we needed to go through it. In this life we will constantly be tried. We will be given line up on line the experiences necessary to prove ourselves faithful and strengthen us while on our eternal course. Whenever discouraged, we need only to remember the supreme example of endurance, Jesus Christ, who suffered more than anyone of us will ever will without a single complaint.