Friday, January 16, 2009

Staying the Course!

The testing of your faith produces endurance. James 1:3 NAS

I have been preaching a series on 'Staying the Course' here at the church over the past few weeks. It means that we need to start right, finish right, and abide in your calling. There is a fourth aspect that carries us on between starting and finishing and that is staying the course.

Many of you know that I have run 5 marathons- 3 Blue Angel Marathons in Pensacola, FL; Vulcan Marathon in Birmingham, AL; and the New York City Marathon. I know a little about endurance and staying the course.

Endurance means "staying the course." But endurance is only a word until you have to deal with a strife-torn marriage, the long road back from bankruptcy, divorce or illness, the rebuilding of your life, or the required preparation for success in any field. It takes commitment to keep going when friends fail you, discouragement whispers "give up," and doubt says "it can't be done." That's when endurance takes on new meaning. It becomes your anchor in the storm, your compass in times of confusion, and the head of steam that gets you up the next hill (ie. the many hills of the Vulcan Marathon!)

2 Ti 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. NIV

Staying the course is important for the Christian. We must complete our race! Paul told Timothy that he had run his race and was ready to receive the crown. So it is important that we finish well. But in the process we find there is an advantage for others who are watching us. There was not a single sidewalk in New York City Marathon that did not have people lining them cheering us on. They are encouraged as they watch our response to trials, disappointments, and the ability that we show them to stay the course.

Paul writes, "People are watching us as we stay at our post… working hard, working late, working without eating; with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness and honest love; when we're telling the truth… when God's showing His power; when we're doing our best setting things right; when we're praised, and when we're blamed; slandered, and honored; true to our word, though distrusted; ignored by the world, but recognized by God… immersed in tears yet always filled with deep joy; living on handouts, yet enriching many; having nothing, having it all" (2 Corinthians 6:3-10 TMB).

That's called "staying the course." We all are called to endure and stay the course.

What do people see when they watch you?

2 comments:

TREY MORGAN said...

Would love to run with you someday. I've enjoyed watching you from a distance and seeing how you DO stay the course.

Thanks for what you do, my friend.

Pastor David said...

>trey-thanks for the note- you are always a blessing-