What does it mean to run with endurance?
Don't lose heart! Never give up!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Have you ever wanted to quit? Maybe you're facing heartbreak, illness, or job loss, and you don't know what step to take next. Or, maybe your problems and pain keep increasing, leaving you feeling like God has forgotten you. But, while it might seem like your struggles don't have any purpose, God is with you and He has a plan for your life and your pain.
All He asks is that you trust Him, even when you don't have the answers as to why something is happening. He wants you to keep walking by faith and not give up. But what does that mean exactly?
To walk by faith means we trust God with our hurt, pain and situations in life, even though we don't see or know the outcome yet. While we may not know why God allows the trials we go through, we know that He can be trusted. He not only wants our belief in Him; He wants us to live our lives with purpose, running the race with endurance.
To help us better understand, God gives us an example of a runner.
If you have ever observed a long-distance runner, you may notice that they keep their focus on the finish line. They may get tired or even have to cross hurdles. It may seem that the whole race is uphill, but they run with the finish line in mind. It's what propels them forward. So likewise, we are to set our minds on Christ, focusing on the eternity with Jesus that awaits us.
We may feel tired at times, worn out at others. But, when we look at our pain compared to the eternity we will have with Jesus, we can take heart--because our suffering is only momentary. Heaven is forever! Hebrews also instructs us to set aside any sin that weighs us down so that our lives are pleasing to God because sin separates us from Him.
By staying in God's Word and praying to Him, we learn to trust Him and live in a way that is pleasing to Him. Hebrews also tells us that when Jesus Himself was facing the cross on Friday, He set His mind on the joy set before Him. Christ endured unspeakable suffering and pain on the cross because He knew the joy that was coming when He would be resurrected on Sunday.
So likewise, we are to model His example, living with an eternal mindset. Then, we can face life's struggles because we know there is hope after this life. As we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author, and perfecter of our faith, He will carry us through the pain, loneliness and difficulties we face.
So, what can we learn from Hebrews?
Whatever you are going through, Jesus understands. He suffered and died, experiencing every betrayal, hurt, disappointment, and bit of suffering we could ever endure. He is our example. When we are weary or tempted to sin, we need only to remember that Christ loves us so much He bore death on the cross so that we could be with Him for eternity. Therefore, we must not give up on life or give into sin. But instead, trust Jesus with your situation, remembering an eternity with Him is what awaits us.
Isaiah 43:18-19 tells us, “Forget the former things, and do not dwell on the past. Look! I am creating a brand-new thing. It is springing up right in front of you. Do you not perceive it?”
Today, whatever you are facing, Jesus can help you. He wants to carry your burden. He wants to enable you to run the race with endurance. We don't know our future or what God has for us. But, He does, and we can trust Him to provide for all our needs. Isaiah goes as far as to tell us to forget the former things and stop dwelling on the past because God is creating something new. He is the God of new beginnings. He is the God of life.
How then should we run the race with endurance?
So how, then, do we navigate difficulties?
- If you are not already a believer, pray, and trust Jesus as your personal Savior.
- Come to God with courage and patience, trusting Him.
- If there is unconfessed sin in your life, then ask for forgiveness so that you don't create a barrier to the blessings He wants to give you.
- Remember that God doesn't miss a single opportunity for you to trust Him.
- Obey God's Word, listen to Him, and watch Him work.
- Ask God for His peace to comfort you and direct you to the best path for you.
(Romans 8:28) “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Finally, remember that as God's child, every aspect of your life is in His hands. He is working on your behalf, and He will bring good out of every difficulty you face. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you. Therefore, you can trust His timing, wait on His answer, have faith in His goodness. Finally, as you live in the light of eternity, you will be able to run the race with endurance. Today, will you invite God to help you keep going and never give up?
Pray this week:
Heavenly Father, You are the God of the universe. I will trust you in all areas of my life, even when I don't understand why I am suffering. I will continue to run the race with endurance, faithfully serving you each day. Amen.
Can you trust God even in the middle of your hurt? Contact us to help you connect with the God who is completely trustworthy.