"The recognition of his return is not the art of escape. It is the art of expectation, which breeds endurance."
I heard that quote during a sermon from Judah Smith. I think it holds a lot of truth and serves as a reminder of how we, as Christians, are to live in this world.
It's an example Jesus himself set for us while he was here on this earth.
In Hebrews 12, Paul writes, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."
Did you catch that? "for the joy that was set before him endured the cross."
Jesus set his face forward. He did not enjoy the cross. He endured the cross. He chose the cross for you and me.
The joy was not the cross. The joy was the cross provided forgiveness for you and for me. It was all for us to be with him for eternity.
If you are living through some challenges, take courage and strength from our Lord who lived out the example of how we should model our lives.
If you are not living through some challenges, just hold tight. You will be in the midst of difficulty soon enough.
We look forward to Christ's return to this earth, not as a way of escape but as expectation. That expectation allows us to endure, even in the most difficult of circumstances.