John Piper, one of the most well-known pastors of our day, wrote a tremendous little book of three biographical sketches. Each person's life models endurance. The book, The Roots of Endurance, challenges the superficiality of our day. Even the church today is often marked by living too much on the surface instead of plumbing the depths. Piper shares some great words . . .
"What I have found is that in my pastoral disappointments and discouragements there is a great power for perseverance in keeping before me the life of a person who surmounted great obstacles in obedience to God’s call by the power of God’s grace. I need this inspiration from another century, because I know that I am, in great measure, a child of my times. And one of the pervasive marks of our times is emotional fragility. It hangs in the air we breath. We are easily hurt. We pout and mope easily. We blame easily. We break easily. We are easily disheartened, and it seems we have little capacity for surviving and thriving in the face of criticism and opposition.
A typical emotional response to trouble in the church is to think, If that’s the way they feel about me, then I’ll just find another church. We see very few healthy, happy examples today whose lives spell out in flesh and blood the rugged words, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds (James 1:2).
We all need help here. We are surrounded by, and are part of, a society of emotionally fragile quitters. The spirit of the age is too much in us. We need to spend time with the kind of people – whether dead or alive – whose lives prove there is another way to live."
The Roots of Endurance by John Piper