Robert Griffith | 25 November 2022
Robert Griffith
25 November 2022

 

God doesn’t answer based on what we want, He answers based on what we need. We may think we need peace and He says no, you need trials. We may think we need joy – He says perseverance.  We may think blessings – He says endurance.  We may think money – He says contentment.  We may think appreciation – He says love. There will be many times in your life and mine when we hit a wall or face a difficult time and we are crying out for encouragement and support.  At those times in my life I have often been led to the same verse:

Hebrews 12:1  “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” 

Running a good race is always our goal but this verse reminds us that as disciples of Jesus the only race we should be running is the race “God has set before us.”

Maybe you really love a good race.  You love competing and you love pushing through your personal barriers physically and mentally. You feel ready to give it all. You feel ready to explode off the starting line and to push hard no matter what your body feels. You want to arrive at the gate of heaven and fall in front of your King with a fast beating heart, with sweat on your brow. You want to fall before Him out of breath, knowing you gave it all.  You don’t want to have s drop left in your tank!

You may want all that and yet you still get caught looking at the sidelines. You look at the crowds of people telling you to follow them; you look at your own inadequacies and you pump your arms with pride.

God knows this.  He sees this and, as any fine coach would do – to make you the best runner for His kingdom – He trains you. He pushes you.  He sends you through hard training days; days with some pain – some trials. These trials serve to mould you into a champion runner for His kingdom.  They strip you of your own ways and the world’s ways – to make you more like Him, the ultimate champion.

Even so, sometimes you wonder, despite all this, why do you still slow down? This is why Hebrews 12:1 is so powerful.  It’s this part: “Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.”  You can’t run loaded with weight.  You have a part in this race. Sin weight slows you down.  It trips you up.  It keeps me from Him. And, when sin is strapped on, its burden is heavy.  It’s consuming. It stops us in our tracks. It distracts us and trips you up.  You can try to pretend it is not there, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t.

God is faithful to keep bugging you to address it.  When you do, you grow.  If you don’t, you fall.

It is easy to want joy, peace, contentment and blessings.  It is easy to want encouragement and motivation, but God is operating from the throne of all knowledge, all power and all sovereignty.  From His seat, He sees yesterday, today and tomorrow.  He knows precisely what you need to finish your race. He knows precisely what will hold you back from finishing.

He wants you to be a champion. He wants you to run with speed and power and strength. He wants you to finish strong and joyful.

What baggage holds you back?  What do you need to confess?  What trials might God be using to train you, shape you and transform you into the image of His Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ?