by Pastor Mark Jordan
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:1-3, NRSV)
This week we have explored how life is like a foot race and how we are to run for Jesus. Jesus is both the inspiration and destination for our run. As we run, we need to make sure we are wearing the right kind of clothing for the task, which we see in the Bible that love is our all purpose garment. Now that you are suited up, you have to keep running, even when it’s hard. This is when perseverance is needed most.
Hebrews encourages you to run with perseverance. That means you don’t quit when your legs get tired, your lungs start burning, you get the stitch in your side, and your heart is pounding. During those times, it is imperative that you steady your breathing, adjust your pace, and keep running in order to grow stronger and reach your goal. It isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it. Running with perseverance requires patience. This isn’t the kind of patience where you just sit back and wait for the exhaustion or pain to pass; no, this is the kind of patience where you keep running to get better, to stay connected, and grow stronger.
Einstein’s famous quote about how insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result doesn’t apply here, because this is how practice makes perfect. This requires you to keep running so your perseverance pays off in endurance. As you run for Jesus, think about how you need to keep running, even when it’s hard. Dig deep for the inspriation and tap into the power of God’s Holy Spirit living in your heart to give you God’s eternal breath. That way, when you run, you know you are running with God in you, cheering you on to the finish line.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I know that life can make me tired. Thank you for persevearance which turns into your endurance. Thank you for giving me the strength of Jesus as I run for him. I lift this prayer in his name. Amen.