A blogging friend, professor, scholar from Ireland just wrote a post which is both challenging as well as encouraging to me (if you’re short on time, read that post and skip this one), and something I’ve been thinking about a bit lately. There are plenty of things which can make us stumble or become discouraged and all but give up, along the way. Along with the problem of becoming distracted in sin and idolatry. But we need to be people through Jesus who are set in one direction, knowing we are pilgrims passing through and on mission. Knowing too, that we are an eschatological people. We are present for this world, but with a new world in and through Jesus and God’s grace and kingdom come in him.
All my Christian life I have struggled over this or that, normally not big issues or sins. Little ticky tack kinds of things which get my eyes off the goal and slow me down. I am almost to the point of being used to that, instead of being thrown for a big loop which sometimes would last days and rarely would abate until at least a day or two. Usually that’s not the case anymore, even if an issue is unresolved to me. I am learning to go on and to push through and continue hopefully in the race God has called us to in Jesus.
We so often have to go on in spite of rather than because of, although it is always because of God’s grace in and through Jesus that we can go on. I speak at least from my own experience. I want to get caught up into the life of the Spirit and of God’s love in Jesus for the world. What I need comes in and through Jesus, so as to run this race of faith in a world arrayed against that.
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.