January 22, 2005
The Ultimate Race
Sports are a major part of American culture. It dominates many people's thinking, influences their schedules, draws their money, and fuels their pleasure. In fact, sports have been valued by societies since ancient times. New Testament writers integrated sport metaphors into their letters to make a spiritual point, as the author of Hebrews did in today's passage.
The key to running the race of life well is found in the first verse: endurance. You may be one of those people who started well - you had lots of dreams and ideas about what you wanted to accomplish. Yet perhaps somewhere along the way, you faced tragedy, setback, or failure. As a result, you took your eyes off the running path and away from those dreams. Now you've strayed from the path and concluded you will not be able to find your way back. You have chosen not to end well.
God has a path for each of us. And along that trail are weaknesses, pain, and disappointments. But these things must not defeat us. The difference between people who finish their life race well and others who do not is endurance. Those who end well refuse to give up, in spite of any adversity threatening to blow them off their God-given course.
Endurance does not mean sitting back and look for the easy way out of hardship. Instead, it means deciding to put our faces to the wind and use the energy granted by the Holy Spirit to persevere through the rough patch. To endure is the only way to finish our race successfully.
On Jan. 2, 2005, Dr. Stanley begins a ten-week series entitled "Landmines in the Pathway of the Believer" that identifies and helps you disarm the spiritual landmines in your life. For more information, including television listings and airtimes, visit www.landminesofthebeliever.com.
For more about this topic and many more, be sure to visit the "Exploring the Bible" section of intouch.org. http://www.intouch.org/myintouch/exploring/index_76118.html