Fortitude is strength of the mind and soul to withstand adversity and suffering. The greater the pain or hardship, or the longer it lasts, the more susceptible we become to collapsing under its weight. Jesus teaches us in the parable of the house built on the rock that to have the fortitude we need to handle the storms of life, we have to dig deep and lay a good foundation.
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house on a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. Matthew 7:24-25 KJV
As Christians, we can take confidence as we build our lives and faith on the truest foundation there is: Jesus Christ. Jesus, the Cornerstone the builders rejected, gives us a firm footing on which we can build through his life, death and resurrection.
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 1 Corinthians 3:11-14 KJV
We aren't left wondering what to spend our lives building that would please God. The Bible is rich with examples of giving drinks of water, visiting the sick or imprisoned, caring for the widows and orphans, sharing our clothes and food or praying for those around us.
Our meager efforts pale in comparison to the list of rewards waiting for us, but when we start to falter, let us remember the joys we have waiting for us and strengthen our hands.
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. James 1:12 KJV
But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. Hebrews 11:16 KJV
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. Revelation 2:17 KJV
He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. Revelation 3:5 KJV
Jesus promised that He would go and prepare a place for us in Heaven that we might always be with Him (John 14:2). Though we struggle now with earthly afflictions, the hope we have in His promises allows us to remain steadfast in our faith.
We can draw strength from numbers too, joining our efforts with those of our community here in Cambridge Court and our families. Ecclesiastes 4 reminds us: two are better than one, and a threecord is not quickly broken. If we start to lose focus and watch the storm instead of the Rock, the other believers around us can help draw our gaze back to Him so that we can live out Galatians 6:9: And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.