“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. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”
This week is going to be a little different on the God Gold and I’m really excited to share with you what God has been teaching me lately! More than anything I pray these messages encourage you, move you forward in your lives and most of all closer than ever and stronger in your faith in the Lord! I want you to know that I’m right there with you fighting these daily battles that come with running the race, I understand that it’s hard sometimes, well, to be honest it’s hard a lot of the time! But thank God we don’t have to go through this alone, thank God we have each other to walk with on this journey, to learn alongside, and grow together! Thank God for giving us His Word, as our fuel to fight the good fight with faith, for giving us His Son to walk in the fullness of life, so despite how hard things may get at times, I thank God for you and all of the diamonds He is making out of our dirt!!!
This week, we are still going to be digging into “The Race,” but instead of jumping back and forth to different lessons about the race God has set before us, we are going to set our eyes and hearts on this one word, “endurance.” So much can be said about this word and why God has called us to run this race with endurance, and I felt as if I would be doing you a disservice if I tried to pack a whole bunch of God Gold about this word into one big long message. Instead, we are going to look at all the sides of endurance, what it means, what it looks like in our lives, why it’s important to run in this type of way. We are going to learn about endurance this week with just that, ENDURANCE!!!
This has been a huge struggle of mine for quite awhile. I have always been raised to go, go, go until the job is finished! Don’t stop, and run as fast as possibly can! I was raised by a father who taught me what hard work looks like, and thank God for the years my dad and so many others spent teaching me what hard work looked like in life because without knowing how to work hard, I don’t know where I’d be, but it probably wouldn’t be very good!
I want to hit on this idea of hard work as we run this race. For many of us like myself, we’ve always seen and heard of hard work being working longer, faster, as hard as possible without giving in. That’s the example and definition I was raised with and I believe with all my heart that is true, but God shows us that there is a way to attack this race with “hard work” but it’s not exactly in the way we have always seen. It’s with “endurance.”
So often we can caught up in this idea of hard work being working harder and harder, faster and faster, but we see the writer in Hebrews here give us the analogy of “running a race,” and running with “endurance.”
Think about this with me, what kind of runner runs the race with endurance? When we look at the two different types of runners, sprinters and distance runners we see that it’s the distance runners the writer is pointing us to! But why wouldn’t we sprint? Wouldn’t we get to our goal faster? Wouldn’t we win the race? On the surface that seems to be true but the race isn’t for the quick footed or fast, it’s for the one who endures daily the trials and challenges we will face in this race. What I noticed the difference here being is that a sprinter is really fast for a short time and yeah that seems good but God doesn’t call us to run a race that is short, He calls us to run the race of life that is a day in day out grind! God calls us to run with endurance like a long distance runner, who is built to last, who continues that constant speed throughout whatever is thrown in our path.
The thing about hard work is that it’s not meant to be done in the fastest and hardest way! But God calls us to work hard in this race and have grit, to show up to the race every single day and continue to run! Where a sprinter, someone who goes into the day with all they have, running in that way caused us to become tired and burnt out easier, so when we face those challenges of life or any kind of obstacle, we may get through the first couple but sooner or later our strength will give in and we will have no choice but to give up! It’s this idea of running with endurance, that says to keep the same constant speed, instead of just working hard, work hard at running in this style of endurance, which is also working smarter in the long run! Running with endurance doesn’t mean you will reach your goal quickly, it will take time, patience, and daily getting after it with persistence and grit to not give up. But with endurance we can keep running through obstacles that come up because we still have plenty in the tank to do so.
I pray that through these messages of endurance we will see the truth that working harder and running fast will only get you so far to the goal and joy Christ has set before us. Trying to run that way will only burn you out to the point that you may lose sight of what you’re even running for and towards. Endurance is that steady pace, working hard and smart, running the race God has set before us to last and be effective not just one or two big times but to be more effective in walking out this mission He has set us on day after day, to really make Gods glory known in this world and the lives He has placed around us! The myth of running really fast will get you nowhere but tired and ready to give up! God calls us to run this race with endurance, to keep that constant, day after day speed pushing towards the joy of bringing salvation to this world! It’s working hard at working for the long haul, and it will get you to the finished line of eternity that God has set before us!
Rome wasn’t built in a day, it took time, constant effort and work, brick by brick something beautiful was built! Don’t buy the lie that this will be easy and quick, because it won’t! Christ didn’t endure the cross in that one moment there nailed to it, His race began way before that, as He walked out a sinless and perfect life so that the cross was even possible! He wasn’t just a one hit wonder, it took daily obedience and following after Gods will to reach that finish line of the race!
Let’s dig into this truth this week and run the race with endurance! Don’t just try to fast but be consistent, be built to last!!!