Saturday, 22 November 2014

Don't grow weary and lose heart - Hebrews 12

“let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” Hebrews 12:1

“Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14

Are there times in your Christian walk when you’ve felt discouraged? Have you been through seasons of dryness, tiredness and a sense that nothing that you do or say has made a difference to anyone?

The Christian life has been compared to running a marathon, not a sprint. We’re in it for the long haul. Most marathon runners are familiar with the experience of “hitting the wall” – coming to a section of the race when they have depleted their bodily reserves and feel unable to go on. It takes a sheer act of will to keep them on their feet and moving. Experienced runners learn to prepare for this – physically, mentally and emotionally.

So it is with the Christian life. Many Christians have learned that they can pray for the conversion of a loved one for many, many years, and not see that person come to salvation. Others have laboured under particular conditions in which there is little or no change, despite their efforts.

Yet God is at work always. Not one prayer to Him is unheard. We desire to reap a harvest of souls for His kingdom. We might sow the seeds of prayer, or plant or water what others have sown, or reap for God what others have watered, but we are all part of the process.

The writer of Hebrews reminds us that God permits hardships in our lives in order to discipline us. It's the hard times in our lives that test us like forged metal and make us stronger and deeper people than we would have otherwise been. How different to the lies being perpetrated in some churches by the prosperity gospel. God never promised that we would have a life free of suffering, but He did promise that He would go before and be with us all the way through it.  

Like the marathon runners, we can fortify ourselves for the dry times in our Christian lives. God has given us a pattern of days, to remind us to rest and renew ourselves every seventh day. He’s given us physical needs for sleep, water, exercise and nutritious food. He is there to be our source of comfort and strength when are feeling discouraged – all we need to do is to honestly tell Him in prayer how we are feeling. We have His Holy Spirit – the Parakletos, the One who comes alongside, with us as Counsellor and Friend. When our own spirits fail, the Holy Spirit within us is strong.
We have God’s word, the Bible, which is a source of His promises, which feeds our souls when we read it. We also have our running mates- our Christian friends and church families who, with care and encouragement,  help to keep us moving forward towards our heavenly reward. 

One plants, one waters and another enjoys the shade.

No comments:

Post a Comment