There must be times for a marathoner runner in which he or she might be tempted to stop. To quit along the way. To say enough is enough. This is too much. Too hard. Grueling even. Might as well give up. Maybe some marathon runners never experience this temptation. But surely some do. The one who wins the race, and the ones who are exhilarated simply to finish, they all have one thing in common, don’t they? They persevere. They endure. They don’t stop. They keep going.
They keep going all the way to the end of the race. If you are a follower of Jesus friend, having turned from your sins and put your faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and in His death and resurrection, turning your life over to God and His ways, being forgiven and entering into His forever fellowship, headed toward heaven with Him not hell and the lake of fire apart from Him for eternity, then you and I are running a marathon of sorts. We are on the course of life God has set before us. We are in a race so to speak. A hard and grueling one at times. One in which we need to endure to the finish no matter the challenges along the way.
A race, or a course, in which we need to lay aside everything that weighs us down so that we can run our very best and last all the way through. So we can keep going. One in which we need to look to the Lord to lead, guide, empower, and provide for us. One in which we need to be determined not to stop. One in which we need to keep going no matter how much at times we might want to collapse on the ground and never get up or run the other way because of what a great challenge this marathon of life is.
“Don’t stop,” the Holy Spirit told me. “Keep going.” Why would He tell me this?
The details don’t matter, but I will tell you this. Some really big challenges had arisen concerning my ministry work with which the Lord has entrusted me. At a time in which I already was tired and had multiple other challenges. How quickly I might have collapsed to the ground, so to speak, and given up on the race. Not the race of life per se. But the race of my ministry work for Jesus.
But there was the Lord in His tender loving care, in His amazing sweet mercy, in His beautiful grace, in His awesome longsuffering with me, cheering me on in the race. Encouraging me to endure. Telling me to press on. Compelling me to keep going.
Though I could not see the Lord’s face, of course, I could only imagine. An unfathomable love on His face, a gentle smile urging me on, an understanding in His countenance because He knows more than anyone how trying this world and its challenges can be, and a resolve in His expression to lead me onward following Him.
Now I turn to you, my friend. And I beg you with all my heart to not stop doing whatever God has called you to do. And to go forward. Believing in and following Jesus. Pouring out your heart to the Lord, crying out to the Lord, looking to the Lord, praying to the Lord, seeking the Lord, desiring the Lord, hungering and thirsting for the Lord and to fulfill His will for you, diving into the Bible day by day, taking time alone with Jesus daily, praising and worshiping God, living to love and glorify Him. Press on, press on, press on, oh don’t stop, friend, keep going forward, keep going, oh yes! Amen!
Please be encouraged reading these verses beginning with the one in which David encourages himself how? IN THE LORD. Note in the KJV version of the Bible it reads “encourages”. In the NKJV version it reads “strengthens”. Bottom line, he finds encouragement and strength IN THE LORD. Sometimes we are blessed with followers of Jesus right beside us to encourage us when we find it hard to keep going forward. Sometimes not. But the one constant when it comes to encouragement and strength we can find IN CHRIST. IN THE BIBLE. IN GOD ALMIGHTY!
“And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” 1 Samuel 30:6 KJV
“Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.” 1 Samuel 30:6 NKJV
And please find more encouragement in these verses that follow.
“But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” Matthew 24:13
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” Hebrews 12:1
Keep going – in the Lord Jesus Christ, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and for the glory of Christ, AMEN!