Overcoming life’s challenges
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin. And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” Hebrews 12:1-6
What do you do when you noticed that your spiritual life has gone a bit off course? You suddenly noticed that the things you enjoy doing as a follower of Christ are no longer part of your spiritual discipline but instead they became drudgery. When we are dealing with unexpected difficulty in life, it can derail us in the direction that God has set before us. The text provides wisdom that will help us get back to the direction God had set for our lives. The writer of the book wanted his readers to realize that there were those in the past in whose testimonies provide encouragement as to how to persevere. Getting back to the life God wants us to experience begins with stripping off everything that continues to slow us down. They can include stress, guilt, regrets and shame. Baggage such as these could easily trip us and cause us to falter. Recurring sin could also trip us as we set ourselves in the path that God wants us to take. It can also drain the vitality that will help us stand up against temptations. Instead, the admonition was to come to God and learn from Christ’s example of endurance. He persevered even when the opposition to Him became strong. He remained focus to the Father and His plan so He could overcome sin and not become weary. Be determined like an athlete whose goal is to cross the finish line and be victorious. When times of discipline come, do not resist for God knows you need them for they will keep you getting sidetracked. Trust that God knows where you have been, where you are right now, and where are you going. Jesus already had set the path He wants you to take. He is there with you as you run the race of life and He will also be there in the finish line to welcome you to a job well done.
Noel De Guzman