This important message has marked me today.
Listen. Be encouraged.
He loves you so…through all of it.
Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way. And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within. Jesus said, “Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. If with all your hearts, you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me.”
If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race.
Eric Liddell, Chariots of Fire
Today I’m thanking Him for the race.
Life is hard. The older I get the more challenges I seem to face. Whether it is in my parenting, my marriage, my relationship with my extended family or just battling the war that the enemy desires to wage with me on any given day — there just seems to always be something to press through…a race to run, a prize on which to keep my eye.
I can choose to run the race on my own faulty and limited power, giving up before I really hit my stride.
Or I can choose to run with the power that comes from Jesus and finish the race He’s called me to run.
Either way, the race has to be run.
So today I choose to thank Him for the race and for the power to run it. Today I want to run with Him and finish what He has called me to do. I don’t want to look to the left or right for I might see obstacles or traps layed out for me and lose heart. I don’t want to look behind because I might be convinced to stay behind and not run at all. I want to keep my eyes solely on Jesus and simply run.
And while I run, I will thank Him — for His goodness, for His gentleness, for His merciful kindness.
And at the end of the race, I will fall at His feet and thank Him again.
“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me
– the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24
Heavenly Father, how in the world do people do the journey of life in this world without You? Thank you for always pursuing me, encouraging me, pushing me to run the race You marked out for me before I gasped for my first breath. Thank you that when I am tempted to get distracted or lose heart or maybe even give up altogether You are there to remind me that You are greater than anything this world has to offer and that pursuing You is worth the struggle. You are worth the race! Help me to run a straight race with my eyes fixed squarely on You on this red hot pavement called life. I love You, Lord, and I lift my voice to worship You…Oh, my soul rejoice! Amen.
I am thankful for the pursuit of God in my life.
It is not always fun. In fact, there are days that I think I could fall down in a heap as a result of His continual pruning and wanting the best of me to come out from under the influence of this world.
It is not always easy. The directions He asks us to take don’t always make sense until we get to the other side, look back, and see it all was for the best.
It is not always what I want. Some days it would be much easier just to go my own way with no regard to what He wants. But I trust His Word that says that everything that looks like it could destroy me can be turned around for good. I trust Him to calm my striving heart so that I can certainly know that He is good and what He does is good and that He alone is God.
Heavenly Father, thank You for chasing me down. Thank you for loving me so much that You will never tolerate anything in my life that is not what You want for me. You will pursue. You will prune. You will convict. You will discipline. You will chastise if necessary. But above it all YOU WILL LOVE. None of this happens that I don’t hear You singing sweetly over me, “Be still and know that I am God.” I surrender. I surrender it all to You. Do what You must to give me more of You. Amen.
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God ; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” (Psalm 62:5-8)
A friend shared this scripture in Bible study yesterday with tears streaming down her face from the sheer love of this powerful Word and the comfort that it provides. I love that when God speaks, He speaks to the individual and then the Body is strengthened through their sharing.
Perhaps it is II Corinthians 1:3-4 in motion:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
I know that some of you reading this don’t feel very still right now. The winds, waves and high waters of life are overwhelming. I’m praying that you will find rest in God alone. I’m praying that God will give you supernatural wisdom and insight to know how to ride out this storm well and find waters on the other side that are still, cool and refreshing. I’m praying that you will be still and know that He truly is God. I’m praying this for me, too.
“He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious, merciful, and full of loving compassion.” Ps 111:4 Amplified
Lord, last night before I went to bed You put this scripture in front of me. And then just this morning, I woke up singing “We will remember. We will remember. We will remember the works of Your hands. We will stop and give You praise for great is Your faithfulness!” I love how You do that — put thoughts and promises in front of me to see more than once so that I will stop and notice something You want to teach me!
I’m so thankful, Heavenly Father, that You are a wonder and miracle working God. You could totally do all that just to show off Your greatness. But Your wonderful works have a purpose and You want us to not only experience what You can do, but learn Who You are as we remember.
You are gracious. You are merciful. You are full of loving compassion. You are faithful. You are love. You are just. You are kind. You are powerful. You are mighty. You are holy. You are my strength. You are my portion forever. You are all I need. You are sufficient, supreme and sovereign. Lord, You are all that and more!
Thank you for reminding me, Dear Lord, of all that You have done so that when I’m tempted to feel hopeless or look at a situation and think that there is no way out I will look to You and remember — the works of Your hands in my life in the past and trust You to be faithful in my present and my future. Oh, how I thank You, God! Amen.
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