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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Run the Race

The race had been hard on my daughter. At about the seventeenth mile she had become physically ill. Dehydrated and with her stomach in knots, she still pushed forward. Each mile marker spurred her on. Each pounding step reminded her that she ran for a reason. She could not see the end, but she ran the remaining nine miles because she knew its promise.

What are the mile markers in your life? What events mark growth and spur you on to the next level? Do you keep God’s promises spiritually in view though you endure suffering?  If we are to successfully finish life’s race we must endure to the end and cross that finish line.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers,” James advised, “whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance” (James 1:2-3, NIV). Suffering produces perseverance—the ability to move forward no matter what comes. Perseverance produces a person of moral character—one who allows the fruit of the Holy Spirit to be exemplified. Character produces hope. Hope does not disappoint, because the Holy Spirit daily pours the love and promise of Christ’s reward into our hearts (Romans 5:1-5).

If we look at Hebrews 12:1-2, we read that we should run this race of life with perseverance. To complete the course, it is absolutely necessary to fix our eyes on Christ. He is the author of our faith and He alone knows how to complete it. We must spiritually envision the goal because Jesus wishes our faith to mature—to be perfected. He is our example so that we do not lose heart. Jesus stands on the sidelines and cheers us onward to the finish, encouraging us each step of the way with the loving discipline of a good father (Hebrews 12:5-6).

Have you ever heard the term "runner's high"?  It refers to a euphoric state of mind experienced by many runners during a long run. When the body is pushed to the limit, as in a marathon run, it begins to experience pain. To compensate for the pain the body produces endorphins. Not only do endorphins have a pain-killing effect, but they also produce a sense of well-being.

Isn’t this what the Lord wishes for us?  That we get to the point where the circumstances of life spur us on to greater heights and pain brings us to a greater faith in His ability to handle life’s struggles?  There is a peace that passes all understanding, but it is only found in giving each trial to Him. It is only found in our thankfulness for His provision (Philippians 4:6-7). When we have discovered this euphoric peace we have found our “runner’s high”.

“Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees, and make level paths for your feet so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed” (Hebrews 12:12-13, NIV). Train. Allow the circumstances of your life to spur you on—not destroy you. Exercise your faith, and reach for the gold of your promise. This race is meant to bring you through safely. The Lord cheers you on and waits with open arms.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher

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