And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
At some point, you’ve probably heard the analogy of the Christian life being described as running a race. This picture comes from the verse above in Hebrews along with the Apostle Paul using it frequently in his letters to encourage Christians to persevere, press on and “run” as if competing for a prize (1 Cor. 9:24-27; Gal. 2:2, 5:7; Phil. 2:16, 3:13-14).
I don’t know if you consider yourself a runner or if the very thought of running makes you cringe. Regardless of your thoughts on running, we can understand exactly where the truth is found in this metaphor.
The Christian life is not a short sprint of a race, like a 100-meter dash. It’s more like a marathon.
In fact, it’s more like an ultra-marathon.
In a marathon-type race, if you sprint, you will burn out and eventually crash. Instead, you must pace yourself. At times you need to “press on” and dig deep when you feel like giving up. This is called perseverance—steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
As we live out our lives seeking to follow and serve Christ, we will get tired and weary. There will be times when we become stressed and overwhelmed, but that is why this verse in Hebrews is such an important reminder for us.
When we face difficulties and obstacles, we are encouraged to press on and run with perseverance. If we continue reading the verse, we learn how we are able to do this. We are only able to run with perseverance if we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. He’s the only one who can sustain us and give us the strength we need to continue on.
So how is your race going? Are you fixing your eyes on Jesus or have you lost sight of Him? Have you allowed your weakness and stress to overcome you?
If so, forget what is behind and press on towards the goal that Christ has called you to!