Training for Endurance in the Discipleship Lifestyle - Trillia Newbell - Episode 36

Trillia Newbell is the author of several books, and her writings on issues of faith, family, and diversity have been published in the Knoxville News-Sentinel, Desiring God, True Woman, Christianity Today, and The Gospel Coalition. She's also a commentator for World Radio and has spoken at numerous conferences, churches, women's retreats, colleges, and seminaries. She's currently the director of community outreach for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention.

You can find Trillia on:

 

Or check out her work at trillianewbell.com.

Resources

Sacred Endurance by Trillia Newbell

The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Tim Keller

The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass

Future Grace by John Piper

 

Episode Audio:

Chapter 1 - Why Is It Hard to Endure?

It's hard to imagine what endurance really feels like unless you've been through some struggle. In the Christian life, that struggle can come from your own sin, your own situation in life, or it can be the result of something done to you by someone else. One thing Jesus did promise us though was that we would have troubles, that the life of being his disciple would also be a life familiar with struggle. But at times we underestimate what it really means to endure those struggles. C. S. Lewis wrote, "Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is... You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later." While some of our struggles in a lifestyle of discipleship may come from sin, this principle still applies to the other struggles as well when it comes to endurance.

Chapter 2 - It Matters Why You Want to Endure

Have you ever thought about walking away from Christ? Why have you continued to follow him? What motivated you to endure in this race we call the Christian life? We may not always be aware of them, but motives play a crucial role in every decision we make. Outwardly, we may be serving God faithfully, but inwardly we are seeking praise and admiration from others in the church. The worst thing about this is that we can slip into it accidentally. We begin serving with proper motives, but the pressures of life and the allures of success can slowly taint our motives. When this happens, our ability to endure is diminished, and our actual effectiveness suffers. In this chapter Trillia helps us understand why our motives matter as we run this race with endurance in the everyday moments of life.

Chapter 3 - Building Endurance Through Habits and Routines

Hebrews 12:1 says, "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." When you practice a lifestyle of discipleship, at some point you will fail. In chapter 1 of this conversation, Trillia told a story about running a 400 meter relay and almost losing complete control of her legs. In those moments when enduring becomes seemingly impossible, the habits, routines, and community around you will help you get through the race. The habits you build now define your response when struggles come up either good or bad. And the people you surround yourself with will be the ones who either support you or abandon you. In this chapter, Trillia unpacks a few of the habits and routines she's practiced in learning to endure as well as the value of being part of a healthy community of believers.

Chapter 4 - Lessons on Endurance, Evangelism, and Discipleship

In this chapter, we had the opportunity to ask Trillia some of our favorite questions about writing, how she approaches discipleship, and some of her favorite books. What we love about Trillia is that you can really tell her life's passion is all about discipleship and helping others run this race with endurance to the end.

Chapter 5 - Enduring After a Long Week of Work

Endurance isn't always fun. Cruising through life sounds so much better. But in reality, we find our lives come with seasons and rhythms. Sometimes we rest and sometimes we endure. It's important to take time when we can to rest. And those times we don't feel like we need to endure are just as much a part of training for endurance as any other part of a lifestyle of discipleship.