Calvin on endurance and perseverance in suffering:

Paul fittingly describes the war that believers wage against natural feeling of anguish in their pursuit of endurance and perseverance: “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Cor. 4:8-9). We see that bearing the cross with endurance doesn’t mean that a person is absolutely stupefied or robbed of every feeling of sorrow. The Stoics of old foolishly idealized such a person… (A Little Book On The Christian Life, pg. 77)

He continued:

At present, likewise, there are among Christians new Stoics who think it a vice not only to groan and weep, but even to be sad or upset…But this cruel philosophy is nothing to us. Our Master and Lord condemned it not only by word but also by example. Our Lord groaned and wept, both for His own and others’ difficult circumstances. Nor did He teach His disciples anything different: “The world,” He said, “will rejoice, but you will weep and lament” (John 16:20). (pg. 78)

He then stated:

I’ve said these things about our experience of grief in order to keep godly people from despair—to keep them, that is, from immediately abandoning the pursuit of endurance because they cannot rid themselves of a natural feeling of sorrow. Such despair and abandonment will come to those who turn endurance into indifference. They will turn a courageous and faithful man into a wooden post. Rather, Scripture praises the saints for endurance when we, though knocked around by evil circumstances, remain unbroken and undefeated; when we, though pricked by bitterness, are simultaneously filled with spiritual joy; when we, though oppressed by anxiety, breathe freely—cheered by the consolation of God. (pgs. 79-80)

About Pastor Matt

Matt Baker is the Pastor of Redeemer Fellowship Church.
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