Just Finish the Race!

OCT 05 There's alot of competetive sports and events going on this time of year.  There is a race to win in almost every one. Each is looking for a winner. In our spiritual lives it's a little different. It’s not whether or not you lead the race, or even win the race. The important thing is to finish the race. Paul said to run the race (Heb. 12:1). By implication he also says to finish the race. Some folks are slow coming out of the starting block, but they still finished the race. Winston Churchill’s was a race of fame, but he seemed so dull as a youth that even his father thought he would be incapable of earning a living in England. Thomas Edison’s was a race of science, but his first teacher said he was “addled.” His father nearly convinced him that he was a “dunce.” What’s the point? The point is that they were slow starters, but both of them finished their race. In Paul’s second epistle to the Thessalonians, he talks about the need for Christians to persevere—to just finish the race. Persevere, being not “soon shaken...or troubled” (2:2). When adversity finds its way through your front door, don’t be shaken. At work, if your trying to teach someone the gospel and they just won’t listen, don’t allow them to shake your confidence. Maybe your faced with an illness, or the illness of someone you know and love, don’t let those   troubles get you down. I really like the answer the lady gave to the preacher when he asked what her favorite verse of the Bible was. She responded “All those verses that say 'and it came to pass.’” All of the difficulties will pass, and you can find comfort in the fact that God will never give us more than we can bear. Persevere, letting “no man deceive you” (2:3). People will often let us down. Sometimes, those we love the most, for whatever reason, let us down. Maybe it is a family member—a husband, wife, mother, father, son or daughter. Perhaps it is a member of the church— or leaders,  an elder, deacon, the preacher. Because all of these are flesh and bone, they are bound to make mistakes once in a while. Though this happens, and we forgive them, there is one who will never let us down—Jesus the Christ. Persevere, standing fast (2:15). When the storms of difficulty blow and beat so hard upon your soul that you feel like giving up and letting go, remember that Paul said to hold on tight. The idea here is to hold on with a white knuckled fist. The old postage stamp illustration makes a valuable point here. When you put a stamp on an envelope, it holds on tight until it reaches its destination. So, be like that stamp. Hold on until you get to heaven. Persevere, comforting your hearts (2:17). As you run the race, and come across the pitfalls of life, always remember to pull the love of God to the inside of your heart. Allow the knowledge of his grace and your obedience to his Word to comfort you. Allow every good word and work in which you engage to make you stable in Christ Jesus. I Love you and appreciate you!            Don