Wednesday 22 September 2021
For By you (God) I can run against a troop, by my God I can leap over a wall….It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect
I was praying with a group of leaders yesterday from other parts of the UK who I’m connected with on a project which sometimes seems an impossible dream. At times it would be so easy to just give up and do something else. As we prayed someone asked the Lord that we would all have “Stubborn perseverance” What an encouragement and an essential quality for life. Perseverance or stick ability applies to our working life, our family life, and many other aspects of our daily lives. It enables us to unwaveringly live out our beliefs, regardless of obstacles. It empowers us to consistently pursue a goal, or a vision, or dream. In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, the apostle Paul compares the pursuit of the Christian life to a running race. As well as Spiritual encouragement there is so much truth to apply to daily life. Paul highlights four principles:
Training. Only the foolish attempt to run a marathon without preparation. Simple day-to-day disciplines, such as prayer and studying the Bible prepare one’s faith to endure and impact our day to day living.
Sustainable pace. Do we sometimes try to accomplish too much too quickly, relying on our own strength rather than on God’s. Those runners often find themselves fatigued or burned out. Waiting on the Lord’s timing sets an appropriate pace. In Psalm 18 King David expresses that it is God who gives him strength. He says “For By you (God) I can run against a troop, by my God I can leap over a wall….It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect (Psalm 18 v29-32)
Staying the course. In the middle of long races, runners may “hit the wall,” a point where you feel physically and emotionally spent. From that perspective, the finish line is far away and quitting is a strong temptation. But when you continue running, choosing obedience over emotions, you will eventually experience a “second wind,” a renewal of God’s strength to sustain you. How much encouragement is there from people cheering you on?
Strong finish. God uses the challenges of the faith race to develop us to be mature and complete in Him. Just as athletes are crowned with victory wreaths and medals, God rewards those who persevere to the end.
If you ever feel like giving up, remember Jesus is our source of stubborn perseverance by 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. Hebrews 12 v 2
Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow’'