Never Give Up!!

7:52 AMHeather

The summer Olympics are just around the corner.  A fact often repeated at my house.  You see, my husband is an Olympic junkie.  He is not a man who sits for hours watching sports.  Until it comes time for the Olympics.  And, then, day after day, he watches anything and everything--devouring it all.  For the thrill of the competition.  For the national glory.  For the heartwarming stories and personal profiles that accompany any and every sport.  Who knew one could become so enthralled with the sport of curling?  I love it about him.  I don't mind--it's just every two years.  So, I just accept that nothing else will be on the DVR.  There won't be room what with every moment of Olympic competition being taped.  

And, we, too are running a race.  Every day.  We are pressing on for the prize of eternal life with Christ.  We run and run and run.  And, we get tired and weary.  Life throws us curve balls in the pain and suffering and frustration that seeks to throw us off course.  It's all around us.  Families facing cancer.  Grieve from a death that came way too early.  Sickness.  Marital troubles.  Financial woes.  Or, even just the relentlessness of the mundane day in, day out of walking through the challenges of each day.  If you find yourself bent over, holding your side with cramps that threaten to stop your race, then read on.  If you feel as though you cannot take another step forward, then be encouraged.  If you feel all alone in your struggles, then this is a word for you.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 
Hebrews 12:1-2

You are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses!  They are cheering you on.  Run well!  Don't give up.  Press on.  Don't quit.  Because you can do it.  You've got what it takes to live this life well.  Not because of your own power--but only through the power of Christ!  All those that have gone before.  Cheering.  For YOU!  You are never, ever, ever alone, disregarded, rejected or abandoned!  NEVER.  Just consider.   Abraham, Moses, Esther, Ruth, Mary, Daniel, David, Joshua...all those that have gone before.  They surround you.  Their stories are to encourage you.  And, when you enter into eternal life--you will see how they cheer you on.  Every saint who has gone before.  Those loved ones you've lost too soon.  We cannot imagine our heavenly cheering section.  Surrounding us.  Telling us to press on!
Or how about Jesus?  Who LIVES to intercede for us (Hebrews 7:25).   Jesus.  Just picture him, sitting on God's right hand, living to intercede for YOU.  Continually pleading with His Father on your behalf.   And, the Holy Spirit?  Romans 8:26-27 tells us that when we don't have words, when our sorrows and burdens leave us with groanings too deep to form words--the Holy Spirit is interceding for us.  And, our Abba Father who quiets us with His love, who rejoices over us with singing, who never leaves nor forsakes us.

Glimpse of grace:  Talk about God's favor.  Poured out through these truths every single day.  Tiny displays of His love...because he does so love us!  No, we are never alone.  We are a poem being written by our Father every day.  We have good deeds planned for us to accomplish.  We have plans for our good and not for our harm.  God has things in store for us that our minds cannot even conceive.

So press on, dear friend.  Run the race!  Throw off all that hinders you.  And run, walk--and at times, crawl--but never give up.  We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.  May we quiet ourselves and hear their cheers. 

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