Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Run life’s race with patience
Hebrews 12:1c (NKJV) – …and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
Patience is among the important spiritual disciplines we must develop as we run the race called life. It is kind of an oxymoron to suggest we must run with patience, yet even in athletics where speed is critical to succeed, patience must be mastered to maximize and effectively utilize speed. The track star must learn to relax while running. The ice skating champion knows the speed needed to successfully execute the triple Lutz, yet must be patient in its delivery. Hebrews 12:1c says, “Run with patience or endurance the race that is set before us.” James 1:4 warns that patience must be afforded the opportunity to work so that it matures and accomplishes God’s purpose in our lives and we find nothing lacking.
One of the qualities of patience, sometimes overlooked, is endurance. The word used in both James 1:4 and Hebrews 12:1c for patience in the Greek language is “Hupomone” which means to remain under. It speaks to us being enabled, by the Spirit of God, to endure adversities, persecutions or provocations in faith and patience. It is a quality that does not surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial. It is an idea related to hope which is an expectation of good in the most difficulty of times.
Hebrews 10:35-36 says, “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.”
The word endurance in Hebrews 10 is the same Greek word used in Hebrews 12:1c and James 1:4. We can have patience or endurance even in trouble. A beautiful picture of this reality is painted in II Corinthians 4:8-10.
This scripture tells us that we are not immune from the vicissitudes of life. Yet note that there is a sense in which this word tells us that for every action of the enemy in our lives there is a superior reaction of Christ in us that nullifies the effectiveness of the intended destruction. The Bible says our lives are hid with Christ in God; we are not crushed, not in despair, not forsaken, not struck down and not destroyed according to II Corinthian 4:8-10.
One last word about Hebrews 12:1c. Notice, we are to run the race set before us. Many world class track stars have been disqualified for lane violation. Dear friend, find and stay in your lane. It is what God requires and it is where you will have great success. Exercise your patience now by allowing God to enable you with the inner fortitude to endure then get in your lane; on your mark, get set, GO!