Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV, “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. ”
It seems that lately I’ve had many conversations with other Christians about the condition of the world and the church in particular. I believe most Christians would agree that staying true to your faith in Jesus takes effort. It doesn’t come naturally. We have to be willing to trust God and surrender our lives to Him. If you stop to think about it, it also takes effort to pursue the ways of the world. It’s just that the ways of the world are more popular, so it seems more enticing. However, destruction will eventually follow, because sin when full grown leads to death.
James 1:14-15 NIV, “but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
But following Jesus leads to life…
John 14:6 NIV, ”Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Surrendering to Jesus starts with a decision, but then that decision has to be walked out day by day. Even when the road gets rough, we still have a choice to surrender our all to our Lord. The race we are running for Jesus Christ requires our devotion to Him. We have to learn to obey Him (even in the little things) and make Him a priority in our daily lives.
We also have to accept the fact that to follow Him, we will not always have the approval of people. Sadly even other Christians will at times try to hold us back from closely following Jesus, most likely so they can stay lukewarm or be comfortable in some type of unconfessed sin. There is always that constant tugging upon our hearts to leave our True Love behind and go our own way. But His way is greater. His way is truth. His way satisfies.
Psalm 145:16 NIV, ”You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.”
Keep running your race for Jesus. Don’t allow the enemy or people to deter you. Stay focused on the One who will never leave you nor forsake you. The Holy Spirit will empower you. Let the reality of His love carry you through the ups and downs of life. Let His peace be your comfort when people try to harm you. Trust God to bring justice in any and every situation you face. He will fight for you.
Don’t give up, just keep running!