My last entry about Mike, the e-trainer, is not simply a reminder and encouragement. I was surprised how God reminded me of the same message about perseverance in today's preaching of His Word. Ending the series on Let Us in VCF-Alabang, the message was clear, and it hit home.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Despite difficulties, we should be steadfast in doing what God has called us to do. Difficulties, like the testing of our faith, are for our own good and benefit. God wants us to level up in our faith, and grow and mature in our relationship with Him, with the chief end of becoming more like Jesus Christ.
There are, and will be, a lot of things that will hinder us from reaching that goal of bearing the character of Jesus: our past, fears, anxieties, disappointments, unforgiveness, and sin. But we must "throw off" all of it. We can't run the race with all the baggages and burdens on our backs. Let go, and run light...
Run with endurance. Each of us have individual races marked out for us. I thank God that I'm not alone in this run towards the finish line. He has set me in a family who constantly encourage and support me by godly counsel, gentle rebuke, and sincere love. We may be facing different testings, but we have a common goal.
Another big hindrance is our lack of, or wrong, focus. If we let ourselves be distracted with our surroundings, discouragements, problems, and other storms in life, we will lose our focus and have a difficult race. Matthew 14: 27-31. The enemy will give his all to distract us but, we must fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. We may have been afflicted by the enemy and made mistakes in the past, but God can use that for His glory. For when we are weak, then we are strong. He will reveal His power and amaze people. That is a powerful testimony, showing how imperfect we are, yet by the grace of God we can be mighty tools for the advancement of His kingdom.
This video was shown before the worship service ended.
It wasn't the first time I watched the video, but it I was brought to tears realizing how easily I give up and how God always is willing and able to enable me to finish the race He has marked out. If we focus on ourselves, our unmet needs, problems, and inadequacies, we will get easily discouraged and lose hope. But, as we hold on to God's Word, His promises, His will, the Perfecter, the Beginning and the End, fixing our gaze upon Jesus, we will persevere and look forward to reaching the goal.
If you never quit, you will achieve your goal. It's just a matter of time.