Often life is hard. Finances are tight. Health issues plague. Job satisfaction is at an all time low. Or maybe you don’t have a job. Relationships are unreliable. You could add many more examples I’m sure. Because of these events we get discouraged and want to quit.
1. Remember heaven is watching me (Hebrews 12:1a). God sees everything I’ve done and am doing. There is also a huge cloud of witnesses watching as well. Maybe even Abraham and Moses are watching me. Nothing is private in my life.
2. I need to eliminate what doesn’t matter (Hebrews 12:1b). Declutter my life of what’s slowing me down, of what’s causing me to be discouraged. This verse mentions 2 hindrances. (1) Weight – anything that slows me down. I.e. too many activities, memories, traditions, relationships, or unrealistic expectations. If something is not working, do something different. (2) Sin. This one is obvious. What ongoing sin(s) do I need to eliminate from my life?
3. I run God’s race for me not other’s races (Hebrews 12:1c). Run the race He has custom designed for me, the one He has set for me. If I try to run someone else’s race I will fail and get discouraged. Stop trying to live for others.
4. I must focus on Jesus and not on my circumstances (Hebrews 12:2a). Life is not a 50 yard dash but a marathon. By focusing on the Master I will not get distracted or discouraged and quit. My hope, strength, and endurance comes from focusing on God.
5. Minimize the pain and maximize the profit of doing what’s right (Hebrews 12:2b). Look at the long-term consequence versus the short-term hardness. Play it down and pray it up.
6. Remember what Jesus did for me (Hebrews 12: 3-4). Think about the attacks, abuse, cruelty, and torturous death Christ endured for me. Let His actions on my behalf be an encouragement for me to keep on keeping on.
Action Step: What have I started in my life that I need to finish? Which commitments do I need to honour? Pastor Rick mentioned a few possibilities . . .
- Join or lead a small group
- Get baptised
- Tithe on a regular basis
- Lose weight
- Declutter (see #2)
- Finish school
I don’t want to be a quitter in the middle of this race. Do you? I am struck by the need to finish the bottom three in the above list.
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