Check out this devotional from my friend D. Andrews.
GiG, another week of this pandemic has come and gone. Like many of you, I’m learning a lot about the human condition. And borrowing a distinction from a book I read by Mary Selzer, we are surrounded by “spiritual speed runners” and “spiritual endurance runners.” If we take notice, God is clearly distinguishing one from the other. OUCH or Amen!
24-25 You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes’ race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally. 26-27 I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 MSG
Endurance is the ability to exert us or to remain active over a period of time; it is also the ability to withstand fatigue, stress, or pain. So, any experience of suffering we experience is necessary for us to learn to persevere. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, the fruit of perseverance is character, which gives us hope.
To win this race against COVID-19 requires purpose and discipline. And as Christians, we are running toward our heavenly reward. We mustn’t merely observe from the grandstand; we don’t just turn out to jog a couple of laps each morning. No, we train diligently in Bible study, prayer, and worship—our spiritual progress depends upon it. At times, we must even give up something good (physically assembling together) in order to do what God wants. With the goal of pleasing God at the forefront of our minds, our denial of comfort seems like nothing compared to the eternal, imperishable reward that will be ours. In addition, we listen to those in authority, taking the necessary precautions.
GiG, it doesn’t take much to quit. But it takes a lot to persevere—especially when we feel alone, abandoned or in isolation. And like Jeremiah, I may not be the bearer of good news, but the teller of truth.
10-11 This is God’s Word on the subject: “As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. Jeremiah 29:10-11 MSG
May we be encouraged in knowing—Our God is powerful, let’s not forget it! We have important principles to share: (1) be sensitive to the needs and concerns of others and (2) look for opportunities to encourage. We have the solution—Jesus Christ, Our Redeemer Lives!
God’s Got It…so we can BELIEVE— 13 O God, your ways are holy. Is there any god as mighty as you? 14 You are the God of great wonders! You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations. Psalm 77:13-14 NLT