I have never tried to run a marathon and I don’t have a strong desire to do one in future. But like all sports, it requires one to build endurance.
Did you know as a Christian we need to have a spiritual type of endurance to finish well?
The Apostle Paul writes, “I press on towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:13). Paul was focused on Christ as he ran his race with endurance to the finish line.
The word Paul uses for “press on” reflects complete concentration or focus. Just like an athlete competing where their focus is unbroken. They are not distracted with what is around them but their attention is solely on the prize of winning or completing.
It Matters How We Start and How We Run To the Finish Line
As a Christian it matters not only how we start the race, but how we run it so we can finish well. Like Paul, we must have this laser focus on what God has called us to do. What is that exactly? It is looking to Jesus, it is proclaiming the gospel, it is enduring in this life.
Church, let us run this Christian race well. The only way we can endure is because Jesus endured for us. The author of Hebrews writes, “Let us run this race with endurance 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” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Though it is is Hard- It is one of Joy
It is my prayer for you and for me that we would joyful endure until the end where the Father will say, “Well done my good and faithful servant” (Matt 25:23).
Yes, the Christian will face troubles and trials. Yes, it will be moments of affliction (1 Peter 4:12; 2 Cor 4:17-18). But, there is joy (James 1:2-4)! This joy is found in Christ. This joy is given by the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). This joy is eternal and supernatural. This joy endures until the very end!
I would rather go through the afflictions of this world as I know the joys of Christ than to be untouched from affliction while missing the riches that are found in Christ. That is true misery.