Hebrews 12: 1,2 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, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Here the writer compares living the Christian life to a race. Personally, I am not much of a runner. I am more of a plodder. I plod along in life. Plod…plod…plod. Sometimes that is what it feels like we are doing in the race. Don’t worry though, plodders reach the finish line as well. The key word in verse one is the word “endurance”.
Sometimes when running the race we get knocked down in the dirt. We just have to get up, brush off the dirt, and start plodding (or running) along again. This last week was particularly hard and frustrating for me. I was lying down in the dirt, wondering if it was worth it all. A few days ago, I wrote a longtime friend and mentor, David Drullinger, who is also a Bible college professor and pastor. In his response, he attached his newsletter about the happenings in his ministry in South Africa. After reading it, I realized something:
I am still alive.
God is still on the throne.
He is still in control and working in the world.
So I got up, brushed off the dirt and started plodding along again.
It’s Not Just a Race, It’s a Battle
I am reminded of a scene in one of Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky movies where Rocky is getting pummeled by his opponent. He’s hollerin’, “Go on. Hit me. Hit me again. You ain’t so bad !” He then proceeds to knock the tar out of his opponent and win the fight. Remember when you are in a fight with one of your enemies, the world, the flesh, or the devil, you stand with all the power of an almighty God behind you. Put on the armor listed in Ephesians 6, take up the shield of faith, and start swinging the sword- the Word of God. Fight back, knowing you are fighting from a position of “already-attained” victory. Christ attained it at the cross.
Send Out Encouragement to Others
When I was in Bible college, we used to send each other what we called, “encouragement cards” through the campus mail. They were just small postcards on which we wrote notes of encouragement to our friends. If you know of someone going through a tough time, I suggest you send them an email or postcard of encouragement. I know those little cards meant a lot to me when I received them. These days I receive encouragement emails from people and am thoroughly thankful for them as well.