"Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and hold fast to the faith of Jesus."
My son, Ezra, just finished his sophomore season playing high school varsity soccer. This year they only had 14 rostered players. Period. All season. Actually, that's not true. They had 12 during the league playoffs... and 11 during the state tournament. (By the way, in case you're not that familiar with soccer, 11 players are on the field at one time per team. So, yah... to say they were a bit "thin" (no depth) would be an understatement!)
Ezra's team was forced to be in great condition. No rests. Running the whole game. Endurance was the key. By the end of the season, their superior conditioning actually helped them excel against teams that weren't in the same shape (one playoff game, in particular, came after being down 0-3... and they came back to win 4-3 in OT!).
The book of Revelation is unquestionably THE MOST DIFFICULT book in the Bible to read. Actually, it really isn't "reading" that's the problem... it's understanding that's the killer! So much of the symbolism & imagery was specific to the time period it was written in. But one thing is clear: there will be challenges & struggles for those who follow Jesus. Evil will be constantly "butting heads" with goodness. It will not be easy. So the key through it all is simple: endurance! Building up the "thickness of our skins" so when we face challenges in life (and to our faith) - and we WILL face those challenges - we will be able to endure. We'll have the Big Picture of God's Kingdom in mind. We'll be able to "keep on keepin' on."
I guess that old sports adage is true: "It's not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game." May we play with endurance! AMEN.