“..Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…” Hebrews 12:1-2a
Ed and I had the opportunity to attend Wimbledon a couple of days ago to watch Andy Murray play Alexander Bublik. It is so amazing to witness such a high level of competitive tennis! I can only imagine the sacrifices he has made in the name of the game-the preparation and training, both physically and mentally; to consistently persevere day after day. And this is BEFORE he even walks on the court to play his matches! Andy has persevered over the years. He has pressed on. He has dug deep on those days when he didn’t feel like it; when he lost a match; when he was injured. We are drawn to and inspired by people like Andy who persevere. How do I know that he has persevered? The proof is in the fruit. Andy is ranked number one in the tennis world.
A definition that I think describes well what perseverance is: steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, especially in spite of difficulties or discouragement. Determination, tenacity and patience also are closely related qualities.
So, it is interesting that the Hebrew writer speaks of the analogy of “running the race.” Paul also uses this analogy in Philippians, Galatians, 1Corinthians, and 2 Timothy. He was from a culture where the hearers could relate to what he was trying to convey about the Christian journey because sporting events were as important then as they are today. If we are inspired by those achievers in sports and feats of courage, how much more as followers of Christ should we heed those who have persevered in the faith in living out their lives for the glory of God and sharing the hope of the Gospel! This is the highest calling; a grind of day in and day out selling out to God as we persevere and press on.
Through the summer months, we will consider godly perseverance: What does scripture teach us about perseverance? What is the fruit of godly perseverance? How does God enable us to grow in it in our everyday lives? Like Andy in his world of tennis, let’s run the race that God has marked out for us in such a way as to take the prize!
My prayer for us this summer is that we will learn to persevere more and more, and that we will keep our eyes fixed on the author and perfecter of our faith, our Lord Jesus Christ.
In the meantime, stay cool and drinks lots of water in these warmer temperatures!
Love, Kathy x