I was a serious athlete in high school. Every day of the week, I got up early to go for a run. After class, I would often do another workout before practicing with my team in the evenings. I worked out day after day for years, chipping away at my goals. College ball ended up not being an option after I became physically disabled, but my high school workouts taught me the value of hard work and how it can produce true results. This has served me well as I’ve moved into an adult career and as I’ve continued my Christian walk.
In Hebrews 12, the early Christians were getting a taste of persecution, and they were at risk of abandoning the faith. Perhaps the problem was that they expected a short sprint — difficult, but quickly over. Instead, they faced a long-distance marathon. It proved hard to endure. They had to hang on to their faith despite the opposition they faced. In this Hebrews passage, however, enduring is exactly what we are charged to do. Even though it might not seem pleasant now, one day we will reap if we persevere.
If there’s one thing high school sports taught me, it’s this: life is a marathon, not a sprint. And the same holds true for the Christian faith. Discipline will bring righteousness and peace, and if we feel as if we are lagging behind, all we have to do is look to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
Lord, give me the strength to keep pressing forward despite any opposition I might face. Strengthen my faith so I will endure, reaping a harvest of righteousness and peace. Amen.
Go Deeper — Read Hebrews 12:1-12. If you are not a runner, take a moment to watch some today at the park, gym, or school track. Or view a race on the internet. Let the runner's discipline and endurance inspire you to keep going.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Chng