ENDURANCE FOR THE FINISH LINE | MARCH 11th 2019
When an athlete is training for a marathon, they don't skip workouts and eat heavy meals before the big race. Doing so would cause them to become tired quickly and quit early into the race. No, when an runner is training for a marathon, they train for the long run. They take the necessary steps every day to build their endurance so that when they run the race, they will finish. We, as believers, are called to do the same.
Hebrews 12:1-2 says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of [a]witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us, 2 [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, [b]disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].
The keyword in this scripture is endurance. The author of Hebrews knew that our Christian life will come with obstacles just like an athlete would have to prepare for. Living our life for Christ in a fallen world will come with situations that we will have to overcome with the Word of God, yet we know that ALL things are possible for one who believes (Mark 9:23) and acts on the Word of God. You don't have to be crippled by fear or anxiety about the situations you may face because God has given you the tools and the ability to keep fighting the good fight and to endure for the finish line. But again, the key is to focus our eyes on Christ; the One who endured the cross for our salvation. When we realign our motivations to match the attitudes of Christ, we will begin to take the necessary steps that will build our endurance in the Faith.
God has a plan and a purpose for you, and He desires for you to live a purposeful life on earth. He gave you the tools and the ability to fulfil your purpose but it is your responsibility to take the necessary steps to build the endurance. He calls you to realign your motivations. He calls you to focus your eyes on Jesus. This isn't God wanting to be a killjoy and keep you from living an exciting life. Quite the opposite. By fellowshipping with God and following after Him, you are preparing to step into His calling for your life which will bring fulfillment, purpose, contentment, and most importantly, excitement. So don't give up! Keep your focus on Christ so that you will endure until the very end!
Train hard. Stay focused. Keep the Faith.
2 Timothy 4:7-8