Friday, May 30, 2008

Finding Strength for Today, Receiving Hope for Tomorrow

Struggling with "Blue Mondays" and the issues of life, I went to Sunday School to teach a lesson on crisis that leads to contrition. As God often does, the teacher learned more than the students. As we continued our study on Jacob wrestling with God found in Genesis 32 and compared his challenges with our own, God repeated one of his messages. Last Sunday morning I heard, again, how God desires to show us the "path of life" (see May 13, 2008 blog entry).

When I thought about the many who have gone before, I asked myself, "How does knowing that many have gone before us help us stay on the path? By doing what they did, of course. The Holy Spirit led me to Hebrews 12:1-3 that tells what they did. The New Living Version does a great job bringing it all together.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd
of witnesses to the life of faith (all found in Hebrews 11), 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 that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our
eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our
faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross,
disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor
beside God's throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from
sinful people; then you won't become weary and give up."
So what is it that we have to do to stay on the path?
1. Strip off every weight that slows us down.
2. Let us run the race God has set before us.
3. Keep our eyes on Jesus, the originator and perfecter of our faith.
4. Think about all Jesus went through--survey the wondrous cross.
If you and I do these things we have the guarantee from God that we will find the strength to overcome weariness and not give up. This promise holds the gift of hope for tomorrow. Can you hear him? He is standing on the sidelines shouting: "I know you can stay on the path!" "Don't ever give up!" "I'm here with you and will never leave you."
". . . He has given us his very great and precious promises"
2 Peter 1:4

Have a powerful day! Amen!

No comments: