Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 3:12-14
In the Bible, life is compared to a race. It is said that life isn’t a sprint, but a marathon. I have never run a marathon, but I’ve exercised enough to know that when one takes on a marathon, he knows it isn’t going to be easy. Most of us are in this for the long haul. So should we be surprised when it gets tough? We know it isn’t always going to be easy. Sometimes it will be downright difficult. Sometimes it stops us in our tracks and brings us to our knees. If we know this, why do we struggle so? I would guess one reason is that we don’t like being uncomfortable. Yet, I know no one who would describe running a marathon as comfortable.
Fortunately for us, we serve a God who gives us everything we need to run the race. It’s His Holy Word. Much like a coach training us for the race, equipping us with the things we need to reach the finish line, and waiting for us at the end, our God is with us from the beginning to the end and with every step in between. The key is that when we weary of the race and want to give up, we look to Him. Peter was walking on water. He only started sinking when he took his eyes off of Jesus.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” ~Matthew 11:28-29
We don’t get to stop running, but we can give our burdens to Him.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. ~1 Peter 5:7
We don’t get to stop running, but we can cast all our cares on Him. Let us learn from Peter and not take our eyes off of our King. Like Paul, let us endure and finish well.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 1 Timothy 4:7
But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. ~Acts 20:24
Often we weary of the race so much that we wonder what the point of this life is. If we need to run the race, it would benefit us to know why we must run it.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. ~Ephesians 2:10
We were created for a purpose. Let us remember this when we are ready to quit.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. ~1 Corinthians 6:19-20
The truth is that the race isn’t about us. It’s about Him and His purposes. The good news is that He will equip us to not only endure, but to triumph. We only need lean on Him; sometimes daily, sometimes moment by moment. We all have times when we simply want to sit down and quit. This is when we must remember to keep our eyes on the author and finisher of our faith.
“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 1:6
We cannot run the race in our own strength, but we can keep our eyes on the One who promises to help us reach the finish line for His glory.
God Bless, Heather