Hi There! It’s been a while (I’ve been working on the Letting Go Love book which will be released in 5 days!) I’ve been talking with many friends who are going through “the fire” lately and I really just wanted to encourage you to continue running the race God has set before you.
This blog is mainly focused on how to run your race with endurance. The primary biblical text is Hebrews 12. So let’s jump right in!
1.) Remember that People of FAITH Came Before Us (Hebrews 12:1a)
⁃ We can learn from the faith of our brothers and sisters in Christ. We can learn from their faith and their mistakes.
⁃ We can look back into scriptures and be encouraged by the faith of men and women whose lives are written about in the Bible.
There were people who came before us who we can look to even now to help guide us. Abraham and Sarah believed for a baby; they certainly made mistakes by trying to take things into their own hands and giving Sarah’s servant Hagar to sleep with Abraham. Even though God had already spoken to Sarah saying she would have a child. She lacked faith but God still blessed her with Isaac.
We can learn from Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Esther, Ruth, Hannah and so many others. These men and women all had faith. This is one of the many reasons reading and hearing the Bible is so important in our spiritual formation as Christians.
2.) Lay Aside Every Challenge & Sin (Hebrews 12:1b)
⁃ We as human beings have a pattern of blaming others for our challenges. But we have to learn to pray and ask God how He is growing us through or in our challenging circumstances. Take time to pray and ask God what you can learn during your trial.
⁃ In order to run our race with endurance we have to put aside every challenge AND sin that hold us back. If we have sins that we are aware of that are in our lives we must repent and turn back to our first love, Jesus Christ. Otherwise those sins only weigh us down and produce guilt and shame when we are trying to run with endurance.
There’s a story of a old man who was a slave but was freed, he knew a little boy who liked spending time with the old man. The child was learning to read and the old man couldn’t read. The older man instructed the child to read the Bible to him so that they both could hear the Word of God. The Bible says in Psalm 127:3 that children are a gift from the Lord. They are a reward from him (From God). This old man decided to think innovatively and lay aside his challenge to hear the Word of God. He could have made excuses about why he couldn’t serve God, but he decided to “put aside every challenge,” and grow despite his challenging circumstance.
3.) Look to Jesus at All Times Even When Things Around You Look Hard or Even Impossible (Hebrews 12:2-4)
⁃ Jesus persevered to THE cross for us despite THE shame
⁃ Jesus showed us selfless LOVE and we must do the same in order to run our Christian race in spite of hardships
Maybe your relationship is not joyful or your child isn’t listening, or your prayers aren’t being answered…continue to selflessly love your spouse, selflessly love your child, and selflessly love God. Let’s continue to look to God who lovingly disciplines us even more so when circumstances look impossible. We know that with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).
4.) Listen and Obey When God Speaks to You (Hebrews 12:5-6)
⁃ Discipline produces the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
⁃ Some people can have consequences happen in the natural and they still don’t change their ways. Yet, if you call yourself a child of God, and you love the Lord with all your heart, you will obey (Read John 14:15).
5.) Get up! “Lift your dropping hands and strengthen your weak knees” (Hebrews 12:12-13)
⁃ Getting up from a negative and hopeless attitude during trials REQUIRES FAITH IN ACTION. Do you trust God?
⁃ HEALING REQUIRES FAITH AND FAITH REQUIRES LOVE IN ACTION.
⁃ Maybe you are broken now but that doesn’t mean you should stay there. Choose to TRUST CHRIST in the challenge.
Review 5 points:
1) Remember that People of FAITH came before us. v.1a
2) Lay Aside every Challenge & Sin v.1b
3) Look to Jesus at all times (even when things around you look hard or even impossible) v. 2-4
4) Listen and Obey when God disciplines you. v. 5-6
5) Get up! And HAVE FAITH— Lift your dropping hands and strengthen your weak knees v. 12-13
Friend, I hope this encourages you! Comment below with other practical tips of how you continue to run your race during challenging times.
Love you and God loves you so much more!