“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne” (Hebrews 12:1,2 NLT).
Let’s strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. Because we have a race to run! Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to show us if there is any weight that is slowing us down. I know for me, I had a simple yet profound revelation this morning. I have been slightly sluggish the last several days, having to be highly intentional when it comes to agreeing with God’s truth, and fighting through some negative emotions that seek to drive my life. During my first waking moments, I began to pray and align myself with God’s perspective and love for me.
I snuck a quiet moment alone with a cup of coffee. I remembered something my parents told me about five years ago: Don’t look back unless it makes you smile. I’ve always thought it was a great slogan and a sweet outlook on life, but this morning, I took it very literally. I started to remember: The smiles, the memories and the laughter with friends and family. Then I remembered significant God moments where I felt especially loved and chosen by Jesus. A shift took place in my own heart, as thankfulness began to run through my entire being.
As I looked back and smiled, thankfulness filled me up, and there was no room left for earthly pleasures or sorrows. And there was definitely no room for fear. It’s all Jesus, my friend. We aren’t going to be able to run this race with endurance if we are still worshipping the ways of the world. We are invited to a radical, joyful, peace-loving, Holy-Spirit-filled life in Christ. So, if you feel tripped up in any way, bogged down by circumstances, or afraid for your future, take a look back at what has made you smile the most. Let thankfulness fill you up and you are going to experience hope – real-honest-hope for the future as you keep your eyes on Jesus, your champion who is the initiates and perfects your faith.
Today is my day to go all-in. I am going to look back and enjoy the best moments that have made me smile. I am going to strip off any weight that has slowed me down, and run with endurance. My eyes are on Jesus and my feet are getting lighter as thankfulness drowns out despair. Because of the joy awaiting me, I can endure and persevere!
Lots of Love in Jesus,