Hebrews 12: (MSG)
1 Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins.
2 Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.
2 Timothy 4:7-8 KJV
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
No matter your status in life, life will deliver cuts and bruises, sores and wounds, and also many scars. Some of these is during our time of growing into maturity, others come our way without any cause on our part. Then there are those which come from family and friends. Yet the worse are those we inflict ourselves on us.
I can honestly say that I have suffered all of the above. Life just seems to happen and nothing on this planet called earth can prevent it. None are exempt from the battles of life.
I feel the greatest trial that I have gone through is that of the loss of family, friends, and ministry colleagues. Somehow even with the knowledge of scripture that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, loss through death is still somewhat devastating.
The Apostle Paul gave us a glimpse about those that have crossed the finish line of life. He states that they are a great cloud of witnesses. They are standing waiting and cheering us on to run towards the finish line. We must be like the apostle and keep fighting the good fight of faith because when we cross the finish line we know there is a crown waiting for us. We must not lose sight of the finish line that is ahead of us, not looking back nor stopping to tend to our wounds and battle scars.
In my home church we use to sing a song;
This world is not my home,
I’m just a passing through.
My treasures are laid up,
Somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me to Heaven’s open door.
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.
The battle while going through it seems to us so large with no sight of it ending. Yet, as I look back on some of the battles I have been through seem trivial to me now. Yes, I have won some battles but the war of life is still being fought.
Let me remind you of the words that the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Philippi:
Philippians 3: (MSG)
12 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me.
13 Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus.
14 I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
15 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet!
16 Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.
17 Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal.
None of us know what the road ahead has in store for us, for if we did then we wouldn’t have to keep the faith that God is for us. We must cheer each other on in the race of life. When we see one stumble we must stop and reach out and help them back up and point them towards their finishing line.
So if you are facing a battle that seem insurmountable, take courage in knowing that God will give you strength and bring you out with victory. When you feel the burden is too heavy give it to God, let Him carry it for you, then get back on the race track and keep running towards the finish line.