Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
—Hebrews 12:1b-2a (NLT)
What do you think of a runner who gives up when faced with the first hurdle in a race? That hurdle lifts him upward and inspires him to greater determination. It doesn’t defeat him. What about your life in Jesus Christ? What is your reaction when you face hurdles? Do they lift you to greater heights of faith or overthrow you? Life always presents hurdles. It is what you do with those hurdles that destroy or build your faith.
What is your hurdle at this moment? Keep your eyes on Jesus. He was able to finish His race. He never lost sight of the promise at the end. He overcame the hurdles in His way―shame, ridicule, the cross. Nothing He faced defeated Him. When you meet your hurdles, remember the rejection that Jesus suffered. Remember His commitment to stay the course. He held out to the end of His race so you could have new life in Him.
Faith is the only way to run your race in Jesus Christ. It is the only way to live a successful life. Confidence grows when you choose to reap the advantage of spiritual exercise. When stretched you receive the most significant benefit. With physical activity, any pain you feel lessens, and mass muscle forms. With spiritual exercise, you believe more in what God reveals as truth instead of what you feel. You receive greater faith and His strength to overcome each obstacle. When you are sure you can’t jump another hurdle, the Holy Spirit becomes the second wind that spurs you on to greater heights. Just as a runner experiences well-being from his body producing endorphins, when life stretches you to the maximum, you receive spiritual endorphins from the Holy Spirit that bring peace. Hurdles inspire and don’t defeat you.
Will you move forward, facing and springing over each hurdle with greater spiritual growth? Or will you despair and hide and never discover the power He wishes to impart? Rise above your fears and stretch yourself to believe Him. Allow each hurdle in life to challenge you to lean on Him and discover His strength. Reject feelings of failure, and don't dwell on what the last hurdle did to you. Keep your eyes on Jesus. He began this work in you, and He will complete it. Abundant faith brings abundant life. Trust in His promise to carry you. Run your race by faith—trusting Him.
© 2019 Lynn Lacher
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