Finish Strong! By Mayada Naami

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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart (Hebrews 12: 1-3, NIV)

Hebrews 12: 1-3 verse tells us to run the race with perseverance while focusing on Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfecter of faith. He endured pain and suffering on the cross for the joy set before Him; to sit down at the right hand of the throne of God. “Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Our journey in life is like a race, we plan and prepare and then at some point in the race we realize we are exhausted or hurting and it’s not as easy as we thought it was going to be. Then we look around at the other racers, see others exhausted or hurting, and think to ourselves that if we try to help someone, we may fall behind or stop running all together. During the race we can fall back, quit, or keep racing. We can also encourage each other by patting someone on the back, giving them a word of encouragement, and offering them water. We can stop to help someone when they stumble, but we are to continue the race because every person will finish the race in their own time at their own pace.

Not everyone is on the same level physically, spiritually, or mentally. A racer friend of mine told me a story of an experience he had while participating in a 10K Marathon. He was running the race when he came upon two racers that were talking about quitting, He stopped and gave them a pat on the back and silently encouraged them. He continued the race and reached the halfway mark, where you can choose to continue the race or take the easy route. Even though he was hurting and tired, he chose to continue. A little while later the two racers he had encouraged passed him, waved, and thanked him.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14 NIV).

As is the Christian life, we have a race marked before us that we need to run with endurance so that we may have the grace to finish strong. The Word of God will spur us on in moments of defeat. Finish strong, fellow racers, and encourage each other along the way. Let your whispers turn to shouts of encouragement, even if you are watching from the sidelines!

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7, NIV).

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