“Let us run with patience the race that is set before us . . .” Hebrews 12:1. The biblical word translated “patience” has the meaning of and is often translated as “endurance.” As used in this verse, this word means the ability to keep on doing the things that please God. It basically means to keep on keeping on, never giving up. Nothing is more essential to success in the Christian life than endurance. Faith gets you started; endurance keeps you going. I recently saw this quote, "No one can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending" (Author unknown). Think about what that statement is saying – we don't start over; but we can begin again right where we are, making things better in our lives.
Hebrews 12:1 also says, “……..let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us…….” We are to lay aside, or avoid, anything that hinders our relationship with God. We are to rid ourselves of those attitudes and habits that hinder our witness for the Lord and hinder us running the best race we can run for the Lord. We are to not get weary and give up, but to continue running our race with Jesus in our view. Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…….”
The goal in this race of faith is not perfection, but progress!!! The prize is not given to the first one who finishes the race, nor to the fastest or the strongest, but it is given to the one who endures to the end. Keep serving, keep praising God, keep loving your enemy and those that spitefully use you, keep running and keep fighting the good fight of faith! As we look ahead to 2019, none of us know what the year will bring, but you can be sure of this, God is faithful. He is Immanuel (“God with us”). And though things and people around us shift and change, our God never changes. Start each day with a commitment to endure, to keep on keeping on for the Lord! May God bless you and I hope to see you and your family in church this coming Lord’s Day!