I especially enjoyed watching the men’s and women’s cross-country skiing. What impressed me about this event was the endurance of the athletes. To give you an idea of the fitness required for cross-country skiing, go to your local gym, get on an Elliptical Bike, and hit it hard for over one hour. That’s about how long it took most men to complete the 30 kilometer freestyle. The 50 kilometer will take over one-hour-and-forty-five minutes.
Endurance is necessary in all areas of life. Finishing a race, succeeding in business, graduating from college, finishing that project, or continuing to celebrate wedding anniversaries all require endurance. I’m talking about sticking with it until the job is done. Hanging in there when the fun and excitement have faded in the distance. Not losing heart when the going gets tough. To succeed in any venture in life, we must endure.
Endurance is especially important when it comes to our faith. Obviously, starting well is a must. But the prize doesn’t go to those who start the race. The prize is given to those who finish (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
So how can we endure as believers? First, by receiving daily spiritual renewal (2 Cor. 4:6). A sign that appeared on a pastor’s desk read as follows: “God and I make a great team. He supplies the strength. I supply the weakness.” Waiting upon the Lord results in spiritual renewal (Isaiah 40:31), and spiritual renewal results in enduring faith.
Secondly, we endure as seeing Him who is invisible (Hebrews 11:27). That’s how Moses made it. He succeeded in faith because he paid more attention to the invisible King of Kings than to the visible king of Egypt. Whether or not we endure in faith depends greatly on who we look to in this life. Keep your eyes and Jesus and you will make it!
Finally, we endure because of the joy set before us (Hebrews 12:1-2). It was the joy set before Him that enabled Jesus to endure the sufferings of the cross. The spiritual principle is that there is no crown without a cross. When things are crashing around you, when hope is fading and you feel like giving up, just remember what is waiting for you at the finish line!
During the making of the movie classic, Ben Hur, Charleton Heston had trouble learning to drive a chariot for the famous chariot race scene. With a lot of practice he was finally able to control the chariot, but still had doubts about the race. So he shared his concerns with the director, Cecil B. DeMille, saying, “I think I can drive the chariot, but I’m not sure I can win the race.” DeMille replied, “You just stay in the race and I will make sure you win.”
The Christian life is a long race that requires endurance. Just stay in the race and God will see to it that you win. “The one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:13).
Pastor Todd Weston