Published On: Mon, Feb 1st, 2016

Stay the Course!

The_Christian_Journal_EditorialWe are just entering the second month of the New Year, but most believers are already pressing the panic button.  The hope, optimism and the excitement that greeted these brothers and sisters with the birth of the New Year appear to be fading and fading very fast.

The question these people ask themselves is: How can I enthusiastically and consistently live my Christian life when there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel?  Why even try when I give my best effort to follow Christ only to experience frustrations on these efforts?  To such believers, don’t give up, stay the course.

We are in a spiritual battle that has no end in sight until we are called to eternity.  And so it goes that as long as we continue to breathe, we will continue to feel the devastating tremors of life.  Our faiths will continue to be tested, but as long as we maintain our resilience, we will prevail.  The devil delights in giving low blows to test our endurance levels and we must meet Him head on.

Following the Lord has a cost and Jesus made it known in the Book of Luke:  “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish” (Luke 14:28-30).  Again, speaking to a desirous follower  who wanted to be a disciple of Jesus, but pleaded to go home to first bid farewell to his family, Jesus tells him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).

The fact is, if you definitely know where you are going, you don’t make detours.  You press on until that destination is reached.  The Christian race is a marathon that requires focus, endurance and grit.  Nothing will come in easy and to keep pushing even in the face of daunting challenges is what defines us as believers.

The author of Hebrews, possibly the Apostle Paul tells us to run in such a way as to get a coveted prize.  “Lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2).  Paul’s advice is simple: Overcoming the storms of life requires fortitude, dedication and the determination to succeed.

Believers go through trials and tribulations because we all have come under the judgment of God.  However, because we have been redeemed and set free by the blood of Christ, the judgment is not God’s wrath upon us because of sin.  That judgment is necessary to refine and purify us and help us to attain holiness.  When we experience pain and suffering, God’s love still permeates our lives and clinging to Him is the only way of living under His sovereign control.

God is at the center of the mental, spiritual and physical trials believers go through and shares our pain as well.  What we need to do during such turbulent times is to stay the course and live confidently.  God is good and always has a way of guiding us through those challenges.  So just stay the course and say with Paul in 2 Timothy 4.7, ”I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

 

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