Sunday, January 2, 2011

Bread for the Journey

Fight the Good Fight...

I’ve been reading off and on a devotional by John Piper called Taste and See -Savoring the Supremacy of God in All of Life - 140 Meditations. I’m sharing part of Meditation 50 (How Can Elsie Run? How to Run and Box when You are over 80) I’ve highlighted in bold green print parts that really spoke to me…

…”Are running and boxing only for the fit and hardy?

The answer is that we all must run, whether old or young, whether sick or healthy. And this is possible for the sick and senile because the race is run with the heart, not the legs, and the fight is fought with the heart, not the fists. It is a race and a fight not against other athletes, but against unbelief. It is possible for the aged and weak to win this fight because the fight is a fight against lost hope, not against lost health.

Here’s the biblical evidence for this. In 1 Timothy 6:12 Paul says to Timothy: “Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made the good confession” The fight is a “fight of faith.” It is not a fight to get out of bed, but to rest in God.

It is not a fight to keep all the powers of youth, but to trust in the power of God. The race is run against temptations that would make us doubt God’s goodness. It is a fight to stay satisfied in God through broken hips and lost sight and failed memory. The race can and may be run flat on your back. In fact, it may be run and fought better by the paralyzed than by the able and seemingly self-sufficient.

…Finishing the race means not giving up the hope of the gospel. It is a race against hopelessness, not against flawlessness.

When we cheer on the diseased or aging runners who run their final laps in hospital beds, what we are really saying is, “Do not throw away your confidence which has a great reward” (Hebrews 10:35) The finish line is crossed in the end, not by a burst of human energy, but by collapsing into the arms of God. And let us not forget: In the Christian race, we do not finish alone. We finish together. It is part of the rules. “Encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called Today, so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13)”

I find this very encouraging and I hope it will encourage someone out there who is having a hard time running. Keep the faith. Keep looking ahead to the Hope we have in Christ. Keep acknowledging God’s goodness to you every day. Blessings on you…

10 comments:

  1. Beautiful indeed.
    Happy New year

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  2. Thank you for the encouraging words to keep running the race and not give up. It is good to know we are not in this alone,but our many brothers and sisters around the world can be an encouragement, even though we have never met physically. Thanks

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  3. Yes, thank you for sharing this. I esp like that we do not finish alone and we need to encourage others. It is so easy to seperate ourselves from others and try to do things alone; not to burden someone else with our insecurities or just having a critical spirit.

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  4. Thanks for the encouraging words. Rebekah

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  5. Thank-you.Once again this has spoken to me and has been an encouragement.
    Blessings,Ruth

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  6. Ellen...what a great post for us to start the year out with. Thank you for the encouragement today. Happy new year!

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  7. Oh, thank-you for sharing those words. What a great encouragement... I am weak in so many respects, so often, but He is my strength. Recently I read that weakness is not something that just comes along in our lives willy-nilly, but rather is a requirement for Christian living... otherwise, why would we need Him at all.
    I will be looking for this book of meditations. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. ~Marg

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  8. Love this today. It is so true. And also, one of my favorite sayings:
    The goal is not to win the race,
    But to run it in honor and dignity
    in testimony and worthiness.
    Thank you so much for your encouraging and thought provoking words. I always love Sundays!

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  9. Laying aside the things that hinder us from running well.
    I love that everyone running this race of faith has what it takes to win the gold!
    Great words to start our year with, Ellen! Thank you !!

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  10. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. My 89+ year-old mother had shoulder and hip surgery on Christmas Eve and reading this to her will give her strength to carry on. She surprised herself and the rest of us by surviving the operation and assumes God must have a good reason for her still to be alive. She wants to be in His will! She's teaching us how to live while preparing for the end of the race.

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