This past weekend our church hosted a 5K to raise awareness and support for Hopegivers International and their mission to care for orphans and widows in India. This is much more than a humanitarian mission, it is a strategic ministry to ultimately raise up church planters and missionaries to walk by faith in a persecuted country for the glory of God. Every time I engage with this ministry I am further compelled to run my own race harder. Why is this so?
Many of us physically ran a race this weekend in midtown Columbus and some of us struggled more than others to finish. I am not a great distance runner. I could try to explain this away or make excuses, but the truth is that it hurts and it is hard. Part of the challenge is to gain a second wind for endurance. It is not meant to be easy! In fact, it is not how you start, but how you finish!
Hebrews 11 has given us numerous examples. Some have been named specifically and others have been categorized as too many to be named. The consistent message is of those who actually finished the race marked out for them by God’s design. Some He determined should die as a martyr and others died of natural causes. No matter, they each ran well and finished by faith and in hope of God’s promise.
The same is true and relevant for us. These are not simply archaic stories that movies have been made of. These are motivational examples that we should follow. Some of us will die of natural causes, and some a martyr’s death. Like them, we walk by faith and in accordance with a promise from God, through Jesus, and by the Holy Spirit to inherit a Kingdom for eternity with our Maker. We endure by faith that He goes before us and will never leave us. We are anchored in this hope and are commissioned to share this hope with others.
While there is a temptation to look around us and grow weary, we must recognize that we are the hands and feet of Jesus. We are on mission with Him to carry hope to the world that desperately needs hope. We cannot quit. We cannot faint. We cannot slow down. We must endure through and to the end for His glory.
As you are tempted to give into culture, or temptation, be renewed with a sense of purpose that your life may join a growing list of spectators, like those in Hebrews 11, who cheer us on to love and good deeds!