It’s a Marathon

itsamarathon

9-18-16

The Christian life is hard. It’s a wonderful life, and as Christians we are spared a lot of trouble and heartache, but it’s still not easy. Sometimes it’s downright frustrating. When people around us seem to be carefree, maybe we wonder how it’s fair that we have it harder. After all, we give up time, money, and pour ourselves out for the kingdom. Wouldn’t it be simpler to just stop? But deep down, we know that we can’t. Eventually, even if it doesn’t seem like it right now, it will all be worth it. Here are three reasons why.

First, we can’t give up because we are worth it. People were created in the image of God, and He spends the time to know each of us. Remember Matthew 10:29-31, which says, “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” God knows each bird that flies, so He surely sees every person. God values each soul enough to know and watch over us all.

Second, we must keep going because of the people around us. We all have friends and family who care for us. When a person I love is depressed or seems to have given up, I can’t keep going like normal. Each member in the Church is important. See Ephesians 4:16. “From whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Every individual contributes something to the whole. When anyone is missing, the entire congregation suffers.

Most importantly, we can’t quit because of what God has done for us. Remember the focus verse in the picture? Because it’s an excerpt, I’ll include the entire verse here. “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Romans 12:1) Paul encourages Christians to not give up, even though there are many things in life that will try to hinder us. We have many people to encourage us, including the saints who have passed on.

Now let’s look at the very next verse: “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Romans 12:2) Jesus hated the crucifixion. But you know why He did it?

You.

To Him, you’re worth it. That’s why He left Heaven to live on earth and why He was willing to go through the indescribable torture of the physical and emotional suffering that He did. So can we really be justified in saying we’ve had enough and we are just going to give up? Absolutely not. Yes, life will punch us down and kick us in the teeth. When it does, we get up, gargle some salt water, and keep going.

How do we do that? Let’s look at the Christian armor. Each part of the armor protects an aspect of our lives. We can’t afford to leave any area unguarded. So what can we use to shield our minds? I Thessalonians 5:8 says, “…and as a helmet the hope of salvation.” When we consider giving up, let’s stop focusing on what’s going on now. It won’t last. Heaven will.

So hang in there. There are days I’m exhausted with life. I get tired of being talked about, worrying about bills, and whether the last person I offended will forgive me. I’m right there with you. But then there are days I smile just to be alive and know I have a Savior waiting for me. Keep your chin up and your eyes on Heaven. We’ll make it.

What keeps you going when you get discouraged?

May the Lord bless and keep you,

Heather

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