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Racing to Eternity

Each of us has our own track to run His race.

When we think of a race, we think of a winner and loser. Those who compete know there is to be one person at the top — first place — and all others are either losers or, at least, unable to win against the challenger who crossed the finish line ahead of them.

God teaches us that we are to stay focused and finish the race that He has given us. The goal is not to compete, but to complete. Throughout Scripture, the message is to persevere, endure, to run the course that is before (in front) of us and, by remaining faithful to our path, to simply finish!

As Christian believers, we are to run the race of life with the goal of finishing. God has given each of us our own race to run. He has set the markers and laid out the route for each of us. In other words, no two races are identical, so we cannot possibly compete with others because we are not running the same course. Our goal is not to beat someone else; our goal is to finish the course that is uniquely ours.

Hebrews 12:2 tells us to run the race with endurance, to finish strong in the faith as we faithfully endure the trials God has laid out before us. We are not running an obstacle course, but along our course are those tests that God places before us to strengthen our faith while demonstrating to us His enduring faithfulness.

James 1:2 tells us to count it all joy when we have various trials because (1:3) that testing produces perseverance. It is that perseverance needed to finish the race. So, though the trials themselves may not produce joy, we know that God will be there with us through the trials, that He will demonstrate His faithfulness to us, and we can have victory over the trials while strengthening our faith for the race.

The Apostle Paul talks about running the race on the course that God has designed for us. In his last letter to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:7–8), he tells Timothy that he has fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith so that Jesus will have in store for him the Crown of Righteousness, awarding it to him and to all who look for His appearing. That Crown of Righteousness is not earned because Paul (or us) were righteous, but given because we have the righteousness of Jesus when we accept Him. By remaining faithful to the Christian life and to the race that is before each of us, our reward is a crown. We don’t win the reward for coming in first, because we cannot compete on someone else’s track. We win the reward for completing the course that is uniquely ours as established by God Himself.

Isaiah 40:31 states that those who wait on the Lord will have their strength renewed; they will mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, walk and not faint. Though encouraging, this verse is not in its full context.

Starting with verse 28: do you not know or have you not heard that the everlasting God does not faint, neither is weary? He gives power to the faint, He increases the strength of those who have none. We cannot run the race on our own power. We cannot endure trials in our own strength. It is God who renews our strength; it is God who keeps us from getting weary so we can run the race. It is God who gives us the ability to endure so He can reward us at the completion of our race, for being faithful and finishing the course He gave us.

Believers can become discouraged; believers can fail and get off course. But in weakness, we allow God to be our strength, to revive us and get us back in the race. We learn from our trials and become more determined, running with endurance.

God wants us to finish our own course. When we do, He rewards us. Stay strong, stay faithful, endure to the end for the prize of the high calling of God (Philippians 3:14). How? By keeping our gaze, our focus, on Jesus, the author and completer of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

Salvation – Eternal Life in Less Than 150 Words

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AuthorRandy DeVaul | BCWorldview.org 


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