Steadfast Endurance

Hebrews 12:1-2 says…”Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”
bryanOur life with God on this earth is a marathon, not a sprint. It matters both how we begin and how we finish. If a runner begins with a burst of enthusiasm but then fades at the end, they have failed. We are told in this passage that we must ‘run with endurance the race that God has set before us.’ Not for men’s applause; but with steadfast endurance.
In May, our church supported a triathlon that hundreds of people participated in to raise money for the IM Able Foundation which is an organization that exists to help develop and support active lifestyles for individuals with disabilities.
My physical therapist, Karen Decker of Reading Health Systems, was the captain of our own Got the Nerve Triathlon Team Haba Na Haba. As both an athlete and physical therapist, Karen is very familiar with the importance of having endurance.
She recently shared a quote that I think really puts “endurance” in perspective,

Working with a physical therapist throughout my recovery has taught me that I am not going to sprint toward my goals. But instead–little by little, with endurance— I have been able to achieve key milestones long before I ever dreamed possible.
The Greek word in the New Testament for “endurance” means, “the characteristic of a person who is not swerved from their deliberate purpose and has loyalty to faith even in the greatest trials and sufferings. For some it has meant death.”

What you may be enduring is difficult. But you can endure and here’s why:

1. Others have endured something similar.
The writer of Hebrews refers to a huge crowd of witnesses that surround us. (Read Hebrews 11) contains people like:

  • Noah who spent 120 years preparing for something he knew little about.
  • Sarah who found life in a time when most women were thinking about death.
  • Moses who turned his back on the world in order to serve God.

2. God has purposefully chosen for us what we are facing.
We see in the passage that God has, in detail, laid out the course each of us has to run. The obstacles in our race are not unfortunate mistakes, but divinely appointed opportunities for us to experience the grace of God. We can run with endurance because we can run with His grace that will always keep us strong and surrendered.
3. Christ is our example.

Hebrews 12:2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He endured a shameful death on the cross because of the joy He knew would be His afterward. Now He is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven.
Think about all He endured through sinful people, so don’t become weary and give up.
Christ faithfully ran the race the Father had chosen for Him, and today He is seated in the place of highest honor at His Father’s right hand.

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