Theme of the Week: Staying On Course
Bible Verse: “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3
Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 2:1-13
In your walk with the Lord have you ever come to the place where you felt like giving up? Where it seemed too hard to go on? Where no one seemed to care? Perhaps some of you feel that way today! If so, then this word is for you: Fix your eyes on Jesus. Consider Jesus so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Stay on course.
This is a clarion call to persevere, to endure, to prevail against the odds, to stick it out, to hold on to the faith that we profess. For He who called us is faithful.
That’s what the writer to the Hebrews wants us to hear. Never give up. It’s always too early to give up:
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. (Hebrews 10:36-39)
You and I need to persevere so that we will receive what God has promised.
Hang on. Hold tight. Never give up.
Oh, I know. The pain in your heart is so great sometimes that you can hardly stand it. But tossing you faith aside will not help. Hebrews 4:15-16 reminds us that we have a High Priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. Jesus understands. Furthermore, we can approach His throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
The pressure of discipling, managing and raising your family can be very intense. But never give up. Living for Jesus Christ in a world that is opposed to biblical standards can be extremely difficult and challenging. But you can’t give up. Your testimony and your witness in the world are critical for the salvation of lost men and women. You can’t give up. Stay on course until the very end, even in the midst of affliction.
The Bible has a unique perspective on trials and tribulations. Romans 5:3-5 says:
We… rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Through the hard times, the difficulties and the grief, God is working out His perfect plan. He’s producing perseverance, character and hope in our lives.
I don’t want to take the short cut and short-circuit anything that God wants to do in my life, even if that includes suffering:
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:4).
Content taken from Staying on Course by Dr. Garth Leno, ©2001. Used with permission.
Prayer: Lord, life can be tiring. Sometimes the cramps that come from running so hard and so long are too much. But I know that through it all you are working, even if I cannot see it now. Help me to run the race you have marked our for me and that Jesus ran before me.
Reflection: What threatens you to give up? Ask God to renew your strength and your stamina.
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