Monday, November 9, 2015

Faith, Focus, Passion, Discipline, Stamina and Endurance

UV 1580/10000 Faith, Focus, Passion, Discipline, Stamina and Endurance
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Hebrews 12 v 1

We are surrounded by a living compass or circle of human beings who believed in God, His Son Jesus and His word. The chief of these witnesses or role models is Jesus Himself who showed us the way to salvation. He laid down His body to enable us to tread that path. The compass around us is not just great in terms of numbers but in terms of the examples men and women of faith set. They set their faces like flint and moved in the direction Jesus asked them to take. They did not flinch or fear but in everything they did and spoke, they bore witness of what they had seen and experienced in their lives. They set aside anything that hindered their faith or anything that made them ineffective. They did not get entangled with the world but moved ahead with a clarity of vision and fullness of passion.

We are in it for the long haul. We are running not a sprint but a long endurance race, not even a marathon but a lifelong one. We have to run not according to the rules of men but those set by the Lord. It is not a test of speed or endurance but of our faith. We will go through different tests and experiences much like the compass of witnesses who surround us. We need to remember their example- of how they gave of their best to the Lord, of how focussed they were on their goals of how undeterred they were of great troubles, trials and difficulties. They were not worn out or discouraged. They did not doubt or want to turn back like the Israelites when they faced the rigour of the wilderness that they wanted to return to the bondage of Egypt. We are to be focussed and motivated by the fulfilment of the promise of the Lord. We are to be encouraged by the comfort and strength we find in the presence of the Lord.

When we run alone, it is called race and we want it to end fast. But when we run with the Lord, it is called grace. Grace is the abundant supply by the Lord of precisely that which we sorely lack. Whether it is faith, focus, passion, discipline, stamina or endurance- the Lord will supply what we lack. We will run and not grow weary. The Lord will renew our strength and enable us to overcome, to finish well. It is only when we get side-tracked or distracted by temptations or doubt due to challenges and difficulties that we begin to slack. Every day as we run we should ask ourselves, “ What is weighing me down? What is slowing me and taking me off track?” To run a race it requires discipline while training and stamina while running. Jesus ran the most difficult stretch of the race. He fixed His eyes on the cross and did not count it a loss to endure the great pain, shame and suffering on the cross. We only need to fix our eyes on the best spiritual athlete of history and keep running till we pass on the baton of faith to the next generation. We should encourage ourselves with the stories of discipline and sacrifice of the large number of the faithful who ran before us.

Prateep V Philip

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