I had a great time on the CPAS Arrow Course preparation day, and heard some great teaching from Nick Cuthbert on Hebrew 12:1-13:
It is very easy to grow weary as a human, it is a struggle, especially if you have children. We often feel live giving up, in The Road Less Travelled, Scott Peck says: “Life is difficult”
In England we think things will work but it doesn’t work we’re sad most of the time, in Africa we think things won’t work so we’re happy when they work!
It is hard to be a Christian worker today, it is very easy to grow weary and lose heart. You will know colleagues who didn’t finish the race, they lost heart. The writer says I am writing so you don’t lose heart. Paul twice in 2 Corinthians explains this.
Listen to the cheering crowd
Remember the witnesses, remember the generations who have gone through what you have gone through and worse, and if they could see you they would tell you to keep going. If you were to go to Italy to watch the Rugby you would be cheering on the England players most of whom haven’t played. These people have, they have felt those moments and still they say keep going. History reminds us of men and women who get through, that’s why reading biographies is so important.
In Hebrews 11 we see people who lived life as a half-way to a miracle – but a miserable place to be, Moses standing on the red sea shore with Pharaoh behind you it’s not a good moment; the same in the River Jordan; then Jericho walking around six times blowing their trumpets; disciples trying to feed 5,000 with some fish and bread! Many of us are at that point, we haven’t seen the breakthrough of God. Going through the process is important, see Joseph who wouldn’t have been the man he became. Abraham never saw the miracle, he never saw the city.
Get rid of the weights
Get rid of the stuff you don’t need. Athletes trained with weights on their back so it was easier in the actual race, but he says many people are struggling in the race because you are carrying things you don’t need to carry. Much is linked to relationships, hurts and pain that we carry unnecessarily. Get rid of them and you feel the relief and can run freely.
The sin that he’s referring to here is probably unbelief, as when things are hard, we’re tempted to say where is God?
Staying in your lane
Let’s run with endurance the race set before us. When you set out on a race you’re enthusiastic but half-way through you question what are you doing. God has given you a particular race to run, stay in your own lane, we often try to run someone else’s race. We try to copy what other people do. So when God meets you on the final day it will be because you ran the race he called you to – you may become very well known or no one may know of your ministry.
You are dominated in church life of the expectations of others. If you are wise you discover who you are, if you run the race of who you are you will run it with ease, but if you run the race how others expect you to be then it will always be difficult.
Look beyond the tape
You run for beyond the tape, you set your sight on something you are going for. Fix your eyes on Jesus, when things are hard we become consumed with what we struggle with, but if you fix your eyes on Jesus everything will come into perspective, you see something bigger than all the struggles. Look beyond, your ministry is not the end of this life, there is something bigger and better to live for – there is another day we’re heading towards – heaven. Only two days are important in life – today – that we live in and that day.
God loves you and will teach you in the hard times, we learn in the struggles. It is in the hardship and the times we want to give up. It is more important what he does in you not about what you do. John 15, you are the vine, the Father is working in our lives to make us all we are. Those who receive the reward in heaven are the overcomers, that is hard work but important.