What is stopping you from placing your trust in the Lord? Is your faith being tested? Do you believe that the Lord will come through for you?
The bible says “without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to Him must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”- Hebrews 11:6
I want to encourage those of you who are going through a difficult season, to strengthen your faith. Place your hope and trust in the Lord and believe that He is for you and not against you! Seek Him with all your heart and never stop believing!
Faith is like a muscle that needs to be exercised in order to be strengthened. When you don’t use a muscle, it starts to atrophy. Which basically means it starts to stiffen from the lack of use. The same concept can be applied to our faith as well. When we don’t use our “muscles” of faith, they become stiff.
The bible often refers to us running the race of faith, with Christ as our prize. Think about your own journey with Christ. Many of us start our race with such excitement. We are eager to train, and get our body ready just like a runner prepares before a competition. But sometimes we fail to realize that endurance, stamina and perseverance are all required of a runner.
Let me explain exactly what these terms mean so that you can get a better understanding of what a runner needs to go through in order to reach their goal. The dictionary defines the terms so well:
Stamina-the ability of an organism to exert itself and remain active for a long period of time, as well as its ability to resist, withstand, recover from, and have immunity to trauma, wounds, or fatigue
Endurance-the capacity of something to last or to withstand wear and tear
Perseverance-steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success
Maybe God is asking you to wait or is not answering your prayer… will you keep running your race of faith and persevere or are you going to quit?
Maybe the pain is too much to bear, and you are experiencing hurt; perhaps even a heart break? Are you going to quit the race, or are you going to have stamina to keep going?
Maybe the wear and tear of pleasing others and gaining approval is slowing down your endurance and your ability to keep going despite the challenges.
Whatever it is that you’re going through, just know that all of these things are opportunities to strengthen your faith. Those muscles of faith are being built, just like muscles of a runner are built.
What’s even more interesting about this reference to the race is that it states that we need to strengthen feeble knees (Hebrews 12:12). This means that the race is not a sprint, because you need strong knees to run a marathon. Our race of faith is going to be long, it will be tiring and it is going to require so much of your energy because it is not a quick race to the finish line. The bible also states that it is the Lord that sets the course. In our own race, He has already outlined the course we need to run. Those uphill runs, those muddy pathways, and everything else in between. It is not designed to be easy and each of our courses are different. Those unbearably rough paths might be outlined on our course, but it is not up to us to complain and ask God why He designed our course that way. Our focus should be on how to make it to the finish line, despite the potential obstacles.
The bible also states that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1), who are people from the past who have ran their race with faith (look at Abraham and all the others). Even our brothers and sisters in Christ may have ran on a similar path. This is our encouragement, when the course is seemingly unbearable and we don’t want to go any further, to keep pressing onward.
In fact, when you look at a runner who is running a race, there is a point in their race that they call “hitting a wall”. This is when they feel like they cannot go on any longer because the pain is overwhelmingly excruciating. It is in that moment that they have to decide whether they want to keep going despite the pain, or to give up altogether. .
Some of you may feel like you have hit that wall in your life, but I want to remind you there is someone who is not only cheering you on, but is watching over you as you run…His name is Jesus.
Sometimes the very things you go through are the very things that can expand your faith in Him and take you to a deeper level in Him, if you let Him. As runners, we need to keep our mind focused on the goal, and remember why we even started this race! Even when the pain kicks in, and it hurts to move forward, we cannot give up
I’ve had many moments in my life where I felt like my prayers were not being answered. My doubts started crippling my faith. The moment I surrendered my will and my plans to the Lord, and fixed my eyes on Him while I ran with faith, it was then that He answered some of those prayers. And even though there are still some prayers that are unanswered, I have come to a place in my life where I believe He will answer it in His timing and I don’t need to know when that is. He continues to teach me to find joy in the journey and the course that He has set before me. As long as I am running this race of faith, He will keep putting opportunities for my faith to grow.
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1)”. Remember why you started this race, and how excited you were when you started. Our prize at the finish line is far greater than anything or anyone. Anyone can start off race well, but what matters is how you finish.
So lovely ones, please do not quit running your race of faith. You are able, and He is making your knees strong so that you can run this marathon with endurance, stamina, and perseverance. You can do this, because God set the course for you and knows what you can and cannot handle. You are stronger than you think and more powerful than you know! Just keep running!!!!!!!