Endurance And Training Is Vital To Victory

The 1959 William Wyler film, Ben-Hur, tells the moving story of a Jewish aristocrat (Ben-Hur) betrayed by his best friend (Messala), and condemned to serve as a galley slave in the Roman navy. On a forced march to the ship, Judah Ben-Hur meets Jesus of Nazareth, who not only gives him water and a motivation to live, but whose compassion fills him with hope.

Eventually, Ben-Hur saves the Roman commander Arrius during battle. In gratitude, the commander adopts Ben-Hur as his son, instantly elevating him from slave to heir.

This is what happens to us when God adopts us into His family (Romans 8:14-15; Gal. 4:4-7; Ephesians 1:5). However, great privilege brings great responsibility (Luke 12:48). Paul said that we become: “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him” (Romans 8:17).

The gospel never says that we’ll live happily ever after when we become a Christian, but that our spiritual education includes training through difficulties and hardships (2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 1:3-9).

Ben-Hur’s years of enduring hardship as a Roman slave strengthened him and increased his endurance. He eventually used that endurance, to defeat his betrayer in a chariot race. As endurance and training were vital to Ben-Hur’s victory, they are also vital to victory in the Christian’s war with sin and evil (1 Peter 1:3-9; 1 Peter 4:1-7).

Beloved, the difficult times we endure are God’s way to prepare us for greater service in His kingdom (Romans 28:16-31).

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets

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