Updated: Sep 14
"On your marks... ready, get set, go!" If you have ever been to a race, this is one of the most exhilarating statements you can hear. Whether you are watching or running, adrenaline is raging, and determination sets in. You are going to win this race.
Life is often likened to a race, with its ups and downs, twists and turns. As we navigate the course set before us, it is crucial to stay focused and persevere, striving to finish strong. Of all people understand this well. Like many of you, in times of adversity, I looked to the infalliable Word of God to find strength, inspiration and guidance. It is not easy to have the fortitude to keep on going when all of life feels like it is pushing and pressing in on you. These four powerful scriptures encouraged me to press on and emerge victorious in the race we call life, I know they will encourage you. So dig in, believe for more and don't give up.
"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
Remember why you are running this race in the first place! This verse from the book of Philippians reminds us that our ultimate aim is to reach the heavenly prize. It encourages us to fix our eyes on the goal and press forward, despite the challenges we may encounter along the way. By embracing the calling God has placed upon our lives, we can draw strength and motivation to keep running with perseverance.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith."
There is always someone watching. Someone will choose to continue, someone will continue to try, someone will win - because they saw you win! In this passage, the book of Hebrews likens our faith journey to a race. It encourages us to shed the burdens and sins that hinder our progress, enabling us to run with endurance. By keeping our focus on Jesus, the ultimate example of faith and perseverance, we can find the strength and courage needed to overcome obstacles and emerge victorious.
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize."
When we are struggling to push through life's hardships, we have to have the prize in our vision. We have to know what we can gain from continuing on. We do not want to give up with nothing. We want to continue because there is a prize that is set ahead for us to obtain. That could be a legacy for your children, or it could be an accomplishment that has never occurred in your family before. The prize could be completing this race of life with integrity and courage and to reach Heaven knowing you did all that was asked of you. Paul's letter to the Corinthians reminds us of the competitive nature of a race. It urges us to run with the intention to win, giving our best effort and dedicating ourselves wholeheartedly to the task at hand. This scripture encourages us to adopt a mindset of excellence, striving for spiritual growth and striving to fulfill our purpose.
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing."
Paul is getting a glimpse of his prize now. Running your race is not just for YOU! It is for all those that come after you! In his final letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul reflects on his own journey and shares his sense of accomplishment. He affirms that he has fought the good fight, finished the race, and remained faithful to his calling. This scripture reminds us that our perseverance and faithfulness will be rewarded. It encourages us to keep our eyes fixed on the eternal prize, knowing that our efforts are not in vain.
Life's race may be challenging, with obstacles and trials testing our endurance. However, these scriptures provide us with the encouragement we need to keep running with determination and faith. By recognizing our ultimate goal, shedding what hinders us, running with excellence, and remaining faithful, we can overcome!