There was a day that, athletically, I would put myself up against anybody and feel like I could hold my own – no matter the sport. I was gifted in all sports – baseball, basketball, football, ping-pong, even bowling. Back then, that was all life was to me. And although talented, I realized early that I was not, however, the best player in any of the sports I participated in..there was always someone just a little better but I knew that I could outwork everybody. So, depending on the season, I would spend hour after hour, day after day, preparing myself to be the best I could be.
I don’t know why but whatever the reason, I developed the habit of watching film of those who I thought were the best in their sport. In baseball, it was Johnny Bench, and in football, it was Tony Dorsett and Walter Payton. Additionally, I would read anything I could find about them and try to emulate them as much as I could.
Our Christian walk should be no different. We know the game and we know that the trials, tribulations, and troubles are going to come. What exactly we might face, we don’t necessarily know but we know that there will be obstacles each of us will have to endure. We are called to prepare ourselves for the struggles that lie ahead, so that we will be able to have the strength and endurance to overcome anything that may cause us to falter.
Although we may not have game-film to review, we do have a great training manual at our disposal to help us in being prepared along with the “perfect” coach to help us stay on track. And we have many lives that we can look back on to see “how they did it”; including the “Best” ever. And hopefully, we have each other? Hebrews 12:1-3 – 1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 [a]fixing our eyes on Jesus, the [b]author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary [c]and lose heart.
Understand this, Jesus knows and understands that living in this world is not easy for us. It was not easy for Him, but because He loved us even when we were in direct opposition to Him, He was willing to endure all this world could throw at him, including dying on the cross so that through Him, we could be reconciled, restoring our relationship with God.
So yes, as followers (believers) of Christ, we are called to persevere, to stand strong and endure all that this life may throw our way – and through Christ, this can be achieved. So as you go from day to day I pray that you would be encouraged, as I am sure Timothy was when he read the following from Paul. In 2 Timothy 4:5-8, Paul writes: 5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
Peace and thanks for reading!!