“So that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit promises.”
In order to gain the full message of verse twelve, I went back and read verse eleven, which says: “We desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end.” Until the end. That phrase cuts deep, and it has been appearing in my life every week since we have been here. Have hope always, until the very end of the race. Is it even possible to be that consistent? As Christians, hope is to be our motivation. It moves us and pushes us to keep running full force, until we see our King face to face and hear the words, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” Wow. What a glorious day that will be to physically embrace my creator and Savior. It gives me chills just thinking about it! Sadly, for many believers, including myself, that hope of eternity and perfect communion with God is just not enough. Why? And whose fault is it? The answer: yours, mine, and ours. We allow our trials, hurts, pains, and past failures to weigh us down until we are flat on our face, head in the sand, incapable of looking up. We enter into this drowsy state of Christianity; barely alive, just getting by, and certainly not thriving. I was just listening to a song that explains my thoughts perfectly. One of the verses says, “somehow I have fallen in love with this middle ground at the cost of my soul.” That middle ground is apathy, complacency, and it will lead to our spiritual death if we do not fight back. Do not close your eyes to the hope that is gained in the love and knowledge of Christ. Look upwards and onwards that you might be “imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit promises.” Hold onto hope, keep your eyes open, and walk in faith with all endurance. This is key. This is the life we are called to live. This is the vibrant, radiant, and fully alive life that God blesses. He blesses us when we hold on, and do not forget, he goes continually before you and is always beside you, holding you by your right hand. How amazing is that? Philippians 3:13 sums it up perfectly. “One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” Do not give up. Keep chasing, keep pursuing, keep awake.
Application: I am easily discouraged and I am also a thinker. Often times I dwell on what is getting me down and it keeps my focus off of Jesus. Instead of looking to Him, I look to myself or the help of others. Instead of being consumed with God, I become consumed with me, and I lose heart. Today, I will keep track of all of the times I get discouraged and immediately, I will pray that God will resolve the situation and refocus my gaze on Him.