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Joy at the Finish Line

Description

As Christians we must run the race set before us. But, it's not a 100-yard dash! The race of faith is never a short sprint. It’s always a race of endurance.

“Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.” (Romans 5:3-4, AMP)

 

Paul encourages us to greet troubles with joy knowing that pressure and hardship lead to spiritual growth and maturity. As Christians we do seem to have grasped the fact that we must run the race set before us. But, it seems many of us think the race is a 100-yard dash! We must change our thinking if we are to succeed and overcome life’s trials. The race of faith is never a short sprint. It’s always a race of endurance. Think of it as a “super marathon,” certainly not a 5K race in perfect weather.

I want to emphasize the challenge we face and prepare you by saying, “Get ready for the toughest race of your life.” It’s imperative that when you get: (1) to training camp, you resolve to get spiritually fit and build strength and conditioning out of the car and head to the track, you understand this is a race of endurance to the starting line, you have the proper mindset to persevere (4) out of the blocks, you focus and find your stride (5) bumped, tripped, stumble and fall, you get back up and keep running (6) dehydrated and thirsty, you call on Jesus for a drink of living water (7) muscle cramps and your legs ache, you remember Jesus’ suffering on the cross (8) tired and discouraged, you call on Jesus for more grace, (9) disoriented and out of your lane, you ask Jesus to direct your steps; (10) on the verge of collapse feeling like you can’t take another step, you surrender and let Jesus carry you (11) an opportunity to look into the crowd, you look for Jesus’ face cheering you on (12) to the finish line, you see Jesus’ banner that reads, “With me, all things are possible.”

Child of God, as you cross the finish line I encourage you to listen for the roar of applause and cheers from the saints. Have joy at the finish line. Be glad that you did not give up, cave in, or quit but finished the race of faith!

 

Lord, thank you for your grace to run the race you have set before me. Jesus, if I get tired and want to give up, fill me with your grace, help me to persevere and keep running. Give me joy at the finish line, knowing that victory is mine. Through the blood of Jesus and in the name of Jesus I pray, amen.

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