“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” – Hebrews 12:1–3, NIV
You carefully lace up your favorite tennis shoes, making sure they are tight and snug around your feet. You grab your headphones and place them carefully in your ears. As you scan your phone, you click on your favorite playlist to pump up your energy. You begin to run, one foot in front of the other, feet hitting the pavement repeatedly. You feel your heart rate beginning to increase as time goes on, thump-thump-thump-thump. Sweat forms on your face, and your legs begin to ache. However, you do not give up. You do not stop running; instead, you push through the pain. There is only one thought on your mind—the finish line.
Time and again in the Bible, we see the Christian walk compared to running a race. Most people would agree that running is not an easy task. Even if you enjoy running, it is still a feat, requiring you to push your body to new limits and go beyond your comfort zone mentally and physically.
In life, putting one foot in front of the other can take effort and be a challenge, but relying on God can help you enjoy the process and persevere. What could running with perseverance look like in your life?
Run Toward God, Run Away From Sin
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24, NIV
It is important to make sure you are running toward the right thing in a race and not getting lost along the way. It can be easy to get distracted by detours from the path. In life, a detour is something that distracts from God and His will. It might be a sin or a habit that keeps pulling you off track and makes it hard for you to focus on God and the finish line.
Over and over in the Bible, God promises to be with us and give us strength when we need it most:
- Psalm 46:1–3: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”
- 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
- Deuteronomy 31:6: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”
- Psalm 73:26: “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
By running with perseverance toward Him and His word, we can find the strength to stay on the path and keep the faith, even when the running grows tiring or the path feels hard.
Run With Perseverance
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” – 2 Timothy 4:7, NIV
Perseverance is essential in running a race. As time goes on, you may tire of running or want to take a break. In the Christian walk, there may be times when it is challenging to live for Christ. People may be judgmental, or life may become so hard it shakes your beliefs. No matter the circumstances, the strength to continue as a Christian can be found in Christ.
“Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:3, NIV). As Christians, taking heart in Jesus can give us hope for the future, both in our present lives and with Christ after the race is complete.
Interested in reading more? Check out the GCU blog page. Click the Request Info button at the top of your screen to learn more about Grand Canyon University.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.