Verse: Galatians 5:7-12
7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9 “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty. 11 Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12 As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!
Have you ever run a long distance? What's the longest you've ever run? I ran a half marathon once. I felt like I was running FOREVER. That kind of running has nothing to do with speed. It's all about endurance and perseverance.
This is the analogy that Paul uses to describe faith: running a race. See faith isn't a quick thing. It's n ot a mad dash. Faith is a long and purposeful road that we are on for life.
One of my favorite quotes comes from Eugene Peterson. His goal was for his life to be a "long obedience in the same direction." It sounds a lot like a race doesn't it? A long one.
Today, are you feeling worn out? Are you feeling discouraged? Are you feeling maybe even like giving up on faith, or God, or yourself? I want you to hear this today. Following Jesus is not easy. It is going to have ups and downs, highs and lows, and we need perseverance. Hebrews 10:36 says, "For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.""
If you are feeling those things, stop and pray today. Ask Jesus for help. Ask him for endurance. Ask him for perseverance. Ask him for strength. He will come alongside you and encourage you and strengthen you. He's not just like the people on the side of the road who cheer for you at a race. No, he actually fills you with power to run. He's like the air you breathe when you are running, or the nourishment you eat to give your muscles energy. But you have to go to him. Too often we forget to go to him and ask for help. I encourage you to do that today. He is faithful!
Jesus, I am feeling worn down and exhausted by life. Would you please fill me with your strength and endurance?