A few weeks ago, I preached from 1 Corinthians 9:24, “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” We noted how the Isthmian Games (similar to the Olympics) were held in Corinth. Paul used this very familiar analogy to call the church at Corinth to zeal and discipline in the Christian life. Yes, we are in a race as followers of Jesus. There are some parts of the race that are smooth and exciting. Other parts are painful, difficult and seem like they will never get better.
On those difficult days, remember that the Lord is developing endurance in us. God is glorified as we learn more and more to trust and love Him when the race is especially challenging. Remember also that, unlike the Isthmian Games, the race we are in ends in eternal bliss. The prize is not an earthly crown, a trophy, nor fame and applause that will eventually fade away. The prize we are looking for is eternal glory with Christ our Savior.
So, keep running the race of faith, love, hope, obedience, joy and service. Run it by faith, not depending on your own resources but the never-ending supply of God’s strength. And help your fellow runners by your example, prayer, love and fellowship.
Questions to ponder:
1. How do you think the Lord may be developing endurance in you right now?
2. Do you put the Christian’s eternal perspective at the back burner too often?