Far From Where I Started, Evans Olang

Hebrews 12:1&2, “1…and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; …” (KJV)

I recently shared on the subject of “patience”, it is vital for me to share more as there are some folks battling. Our patience is tested while on traffic; check out lines at the stores, at an entrance gate to a game etc. We struggle with patience because we would rather be the ones in front of everyone else, which makes us selfish if you think about it. In as much as you would like to be the one the front, the person on the front also deserves a chance. Is it about me? (just an input but not the direction for the message today).

The word “patience” appears 33 times in NT. God is referred in Romans 15:5 as the God of patience. Would we say that the generation after the OT struggled with patience? To some extent yes. In OT, Moses, David, Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, Esther, Jeremiah, David, Naomi and others endured with patience to see God’s promises fulfilled. Some did not see those promises come to pass in their lifetime yet at a distance, they embraced them.

The writer of Hebrews (not known) reminded believers including himself to run with patience the race set before them (us). Sometime back while watching the Olympics marathon, it was a 26-mile participated by many. If you know marathon, it is the kind of race that requires proper practice/preparation, patience and endurance. It took the winner 2hrs 05 Mins to complete the race. As I was watching it, there were times the runners were running on plain ground, at times up a hill. The hot sun made them slow down at times. The person who was at one point leading was pushed off his truck by one of the spectators. It did affect his speed and left him shaken but he would not quit the race. They were all running with patience, grabbing water to quench their thirst. They were looking forward to the finish line. To some it did not matter if they were not first on the finish line, all that mattered was that they finished the race.

Our race with and in Christ is no different, it requires patience and endurance. It is a long journey but we are getting closer and closer to the finish line, Romans 13:11, “…for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed”. Our finish line is Jesus, we look to Him. You know of those who you started the race with in Christ, some quit running and some reduced their speed tremendously but you have continued to run the race with your eyes fixed on Jesus. You and I are like the marathon runners running a race with endurance. Jesus ran His race here on earth with patience and a beautiful example is the process of His crucifixion. He could have just had someone spear Him to death and still He would have died for mankind but the bible says, “Christ must suffer”, that involves patience and endurance. Paul went through patience and endurance facing difficult times yet he would not quit why? because His eyes were fixed on Jesus the author and the finisher of his faith. Did he finish his marathon race even after all the hardships? Yes, he did 2Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.Despite the battles, he fought a good fight; despite the obstacles, he finished the race; despite the trials, he kept the faith and that is what I am looking forward to. It’s about being faithful till the end. I know of those times when this race gets so hard, so tiring, obstacles, barriers, trials. Like the rest, the feeling of quitting presents itself, the enemy keeps reminding you to quit. Didn’t he whisper the same to Jesus? All I know is that I am getting closer and closer as I run the race with patience. I am far from where I started and I am closer to where I am going. If I can just hang on a little while and keep looking to the One who can give me strength to finish the race, I will join Paul and many saints who finished the race with joy. We ought to be persevering saints, let us keep running. Blessings Ev

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