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Inspirational, Uplifting and Encouraging Bible Verses: Hebrews 12:1 Never Give Up, Hanging in There, Perseverance
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, Hebrews 12:1 NIV
Everything that hinders. What hinders me? Can I derive an answer to that question from personal experience? I think I can. I suppose it, being what hinders, comes from two sources. The first being me myself. I am part of the problem, making me a self-hindrance. That presents quite an issue, often manifested by the realization that “I’ve done it again..”. When will it end? Funny, and perhaps not so coincidentally, I was thinking that same thing prayerfully on the way into work today. Decided when I got here, first thing I would do was study my verse and send out the devotional; never got around to it last week. So here we are. The message I got while pondering the question was “Yes, you are going to get there.” And I really do believe that, making me happy and hopeful.
Well, based on what? Seems you cannot address the problem until it has been identified. Pretty sure it has, for the longest time instinctively. God’s word, most notably in Romans, paralleled my former realization; then took it a step further and gave me the how’s and why’s. More importantly, and to my great relief, also conveyed that the problem need not be self corrective. In fact, it cannot be, so compensation has been put in place on our behalf.
Which means then, I’m effectively fixed even though I remain a complete, at times, screw up. That can make for some pretty contradictory and convicting days, had some last week. As per the above verse set, things can easily get entangled when my flesh takes over, a very dangerous way to operate.
Perseverance then becomes an appropriate term, implying the improvement process will be a long and arduous one. Sure does seem that way, and I can ask myself the question: how am I looking compared to 10 years ago in my walk? Hopefully the answer will be much better but still a long way to go. The motivation being it will continue to improve, certain behaviors becoming less and less frequent until they finally go away; with, incidentally, none of the credit going to me.
Here’s the hard truth: Biblically speaking, Christians are, by definition, hypocrites. As such, they can only be justified by grace: that imparted which is not deserved. Which, in turn, demands a state of perpetual humbleness.
OK, so we have covered the first issue I have: me. What about the 2nd? That being the world and everything other than good that exists within it, a considerable portion of which gets thrown our way. Lest I forget to mention the source from which it emanates. We have an enemy, one whose existence is widely denied. The most dangerous enemy is the one whom we don’t even consider or see, something to keep in mind.
No wonder we can get discouraged at times. The weight of ourselves and the world around us can seem crushing.
My prayer today is that God gives all the wisdom and strength to run hard and persevere. Note finally life is likened to a race, and how appropriately so. A race has a finish line. Someday it will be over. We can win.
In the meantime, take it day by day, and leave open the thought that we have someone there to help.