Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us (ESV).
I was listening to a song called “Over” by Kirk Franklin. I had been feeling down and a bit frustrated. My human eyes want to see what my spiritual eyes do. This faith walk isn’t always easy. The following are some good lyrics from the song:
(Hello it’s not over) When the bags are packed and it’s looking like the end.
(Hello it’s not over) When you pray every time you pull up to the ATM.
(Hello it’s not over) When your enemy turns out to be your best friend.
(Hello it’s not over) Give thanks cause after each storm new life begins.
As I was listening to this song and I heard the phrase “If God said it’s not over” something resounded in my spirit. Too often we quit the race, and don’t run with endurance as in Hebrews 12:1. Something discouraging, or perhaps several somethings, happen. Life seems hopeless. The race is lonely, tiring, painful, and riddled with difficulty. Some stretches are smooth and bright and others are dark, rocky, and winding. You may be wading through water or enduring storms. Maybe some are running past you not even giving you a glance or casually saying, “Pick up the pace” without understanding where you’re at. I know how that feels. And there’s no comfortable answer. The solution is to decide to run with endurance. In other words, you choose to be in it till the end. The long haul. You just won’t quit.
Today, I want to speak to those who feel it’s over for them. If you’re breathing then it isn’t over yet. Life wasn’t promised it would be easy. It’s also about choices. Sometimes success comes from just not giving up. Trying over and over. Getting back up. Then getting back up again. And again. It is recorded it took Thomas Edison over 1,000 attempts (though he was quoted to have joked it was 10,000) to successfully create a functioning light bulb. In fact, he was fired from his first two jobs. He didn’t give up. That’s the difference between those who finish well and those who don’t: not giving up.
Make a decision to finish the race. And finish well. No matter what you’re going through in your life right now, God is able. Your finances. Your health. Your marriage. That backslidden family member. The friend who betrayed you. Whatever it is, God is bigger. Keep running with endurance one step at a time. You’ll get there. He will provide and make a way. It’s not over.
1 Corinthians 9:24-25 ESV Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
Hebrews 12:3-7 ESV Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?