Life is full of twists and turns. My husband likes to remind me that life is a marathon and not a sprint. And he is so right, sometimes I just need to slow down and focus on the ¼ of a mile that is right in front of me and not on the finish line.
A marathon is 26.2 miles long. Nowhere (except in the middle of Nebraska) is the terrain exactly the same for 26.2 miles. And we shouldn’t expect life to be that way either. There will be twists, turns, rocky times, flat and boring times. Other times it will be sunny and pleasant, still others stormy and cold. To sum it up: life will be unpredictable.
In Hebrews 12:1 it says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” (NLT)
Each one of us has a race to run. God has given each one of us a specific purpose and plan made exactly for us. It struck me that this verse is found immediately after the Hall of Faith. Oh how I would love to run my race as well as Abraham, David, Joseph and Moses! So I went back and read Hebrews 11 in hopes to gain some insight on how they ran their race so well. Here is what I learned about them:
1.) They believed expectantly that something was actually going to happen (v.1)
2.) They believed God existed (v.6)
3.) They believed that God rewards those who actively seek Him (v.6)
4.) They believed that God keeps His promises (v.11)
5.) They believed they were foreigners and earth was not their real home (v.13-16)
6.) They believed their real reward was in heaven and not on earth. (v.26)
7.) They kept their eyes focused on who they could not see instead of who and what they could see. (v.27)
8.) They believed that life would be so much better in heaven. (v.35)
Do you have the same set of beliefs? Do you know what promises are available to you, and do you believe YOU can have them? Are you more focused on what God thinks and says about you or on what the person in the next pew does?
Is your life focused on the eternal versus the here and now? Which kingdom are you living for, an earthly one or a heavenly one?
Interesting thoughts to ponder today. I want my belief system to line up with those examples who have gone before me. I pray that yours does too!
Romans 12:2-3 (NLT)
2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
3 Because of the privilege and authority[a] God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.
Philippians 3:13-14 (NLT)
13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,[a] but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.