Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

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 (NLT)

It’s a great place to start life, and a great reminder for step-after-step of the journey of each day of our lives, when the Apostle Paul makes the bold all-encompassing statement recorded in Romans 8:28—

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those

who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Not, “I think” or “maybe” or “we believe.” But with a full frontal attack on the uncertainty of today and all our tomorrows, he says—“we know” in all things God works for our good! In the good times, the tough moments, all of the ups and downs, the wins and losses, in sickness and in health, injuries, successful and unsuccessful outcomes, mountaintops and valleys.

Which should give us the boldness to step out with full confidence and embrace the call of the writer of Hebrews—“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

Or from the NKJV translation—“And let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

Endurance” means “to abide under the weight of,” or “to wait with patience.” Translated from the Greek it means “cheerful endurance.” It is not an endurance which sits down and waits passively, but an endurance which presses on to master, to conquer what is before us. An endurance with a determination which refuses to be knocked off course by obstacles before us, or the distractions of voices and noise around us.

And so with our eyes and hearts fixed on Christ we press on, endure, persevere “cheerfully” and confidently because of the hope we have within us and which defines our lives.

While Prime Minister of England, and on the occasion of his speaking at the commencement exercises at Cambridge University in England and after a long and beautiful introduction, Winston Churchill stood up to address the group. He leaned over the podium toward the microphone to offer them his thoughts on this special occasion in their lives as they approached the uncertainties of a world beyond their diplomas.

The students, faculty and staff sat there on the edge of the seats, ready to hang on every word this great statesman would share with them. After looking back-and-forth across the array of faces peering at him, he cleared his throat and began:

“Never give up. Never. Never. Never.”

And with that, he ended, and sat down. Finished. He had said all he came to say. He had said enough. He really had said it all.

You will be questioned and challenged, you will be criticized, attacked and condemned. You will slip, fall and lose. You will fail. Judgements, noise, voices, and other distractions will come directly, subtly, internally and externally.

Your response—stay focused, stick to the task.

Persevere through whatever confronts you. Endure through whatever you face. Endure cheerfully with His power and peace—fixed on the hope of Christ within you which defines your life.

Claim that Hope. Embrace it. Press on with it—into all whom God has created you to be and do.

All for your good, the good of others—and to His glory.

In His Name—Scott


Copyright 2017. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.