Hebrews 10:35-36 (ESV) Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
Keep going. Just keep going. I have to tell my feet that sometimes during my workout. The limbs get all shaky and I cannot catch my breath yet I tell myself over and over – keep going. Cardio is my best friend and worst enemy. It pushes my body past the breaking point yet yields the positive results I am hoping for. When I pull up at the gym, I can feel my flesh begin rebel and make excuses for every reason to turn the car back on and leave. I am determined to live a better lifestyle through diet and exercise. It requires dedication that is greater than my desire to quit. I continue because I want the reward of a healthy body. It all seems rational until the first turn of the pedals of the elliptical or the drops of sweat make it hard to see. Someone needs to hear the words – “keep going”! Jesus is whispering to us today. Do not throw off your confidence in me. I have promised you a great reward that is an inheritance just for you. You just need to have endurance. So you will do the Will of God knowing full well that He is faithful to each promise.
There are things in life that must be sought after past our feelings and emotions. The things of God are seldom achieved in an instant but require faith exampled by endurance. You may believe that God’s Promises are true and His Plan is for you yet still feel like giving up. Perhaps, the wait is too long. The struggle too real. The trials too hard. The temptation too great. “Do not throw away your confidence…it has a great reward!” When our mind, will and emotions beg us to quit, it is usually because breakthrough is coming. Our flesh does not want to die or give way to the Holy Spirit inside of us so it balks at endurance and tries to shut us down as we strive for anything other than what makes it comfortable. Convenience leads to complacency hence just another reason I am at the gym. Confidence will kill comfort, convenience and complacency when hope becomes the anchor of our soul and mindset that is held on to.
Romans 5:1-5 (ESV) Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Faith is logical when it is based on God’s Word. We have been justified by faith which is made credible by the Word of God. Peace with God is established through His Son, Jesus Christ, who is the Word. He obtained access to God and all that He has promised when Jesus gave us grace to access a new relationship with the Father. Now because of God’s Grace, we can enter into His Presence and experience His Glory. Sounds magical. It’s really not. Magic requires a slight of the hand or illusion for the eyes. The Lord is straight forward. There is a process involved to obtaining that which is hoped for. It is not reserved for favorites but the faithful.
The process of God that leads to fulfillment is through refinement as set forth in Romans 5. Suffering produces endurance. Discipline always requires suffering. It is contrary to what comes naturally and therefore requires a forceful change of an otherwise innate reaction. The Word of God is contrary to our mindset formed by the nature and society. It must be continued consumed and digested even when it tastes like a bitter pill at first. Anytime, we introduce a new food to my grandson – his initial response is to wrinkle his nose, make a sour face and shudder. It takes a couple bites before he is readily consumes it. He tastes and sees that it is good so he begins to devour it. And so it is with God’s Word, His Will and His Way – it doesn’t always seem palatable but daily consumption, digestion and nutrition will soon change our heart and mind because we taste and see that the Lord is good!
Suffering produces endurance. Endurance produces character. Character produces hope. Hope in the Lord will never ever put us to shame. We must endure. The Bible tells us in Matthew that those who endure to the end will be saved. Luke 21:19 tells us “by your endurance you will gain your lives.” We must keep going to fully discover the hope that is to be found in Jesus Christ. God’s Plan, His Purpose and every promise to prosper holds something worth having if His People would only learn to endure.
Hebrews 12:3-7 (ESV) Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
Endurance produces discipline within us. It is the turning point of decision each day. Do I keep going or turn back now? What is your God dream? What motivates you? Are you tired of the same old same old and reaching for new things with new goals and aspirations? Is it a new season? Or is God revealing a new chapter in life? Have you been met with the unexpected? The Lord will be your confidence, but to do that He must first teach us discipline. Discipline is not punishment. Say it again, godly discipline is never ever punishment. If God still punished us, it means that the grace given is not enough and insufficient. Jesus is the example of endurance set forth for us to follow. Hebrews 11 is the Hall of Fame of faith delineated to encourage us that ordinary men and women can do extraordinary things when they set their heart and mind on God first.
Hebrews 12 is the gunshot of the race of faith to the finish line of hope. To keep our eyes on Jesus the “founder and perfecter” of our faith. He endured the cross for us. He exhibited complete discipline and obedience to the Father on the earth as a man. We must gain encouragement and motivation from the simple truth that the struggles in our life even the very real striving to just keep going will be worth it. Christ solidified that for us. No father or mother stops pushing and prodding their child toward purpose and success. Neither would your Father in Heaven who paid such a high price just so you could have it. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Following His Example means living a life of disciplined endurance that keeps going no matter what!
Lamentations 3:18-24 (ESV) So I say, “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord.” Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
When you cannot change your present situation, current circumstances or conditions, there is still one thing that is completely within your power to change – your mind! In the midst of the worst pity party imaginable, new hope and life arises from the one who calls his or her mind to order. But THIS I call to mind and therefore I have hope. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His Mercies never come to an end. In fact, they are delivered each morning. Great is YOUR faithfulness. It doesn’t matter how you got it, why you are here or if it is totally your fault. Mercy says, “Hey, come with me!” God is faithfully pursuing us today with unfailing love and goodness no matter where yesterday left us – we still have His Love therefore we have hope. You just have to keep going. The Lord will be our portion. He will fill every dry and dead spot in us with new life. We must only endure the struggle so our godly character reflects the love and care of our gracious Father. He has already given us the seeds of faith to prosper. Hope will carry us to the harvest.
I John 4:16-18 (ESV) So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
Hey Friend! You have to keep going! It will be worth it if you hold tight to your confidence in Christ for it comes with a reward. The rich and satisfying life promised by the Lord to be exceedingly and abundantly more than imaginable – it belongs to you. You must be confident in His Love so that courage will drive your heart to receive it. We cannot live in fear of failure or the bondage of daily striving, but must run the race of faith freely unhindered. It seems silly to most and that’s okay. My promise belongs to me and I intend to have it. In fact, I want all that the Lord has promised me. Discipline tells me that I am a Child of God and He has invested in me potential that will be birthed into purpose if I don’t give up but keep walking in His Footsteps and running toward obedience. It is the demonstration of trust to live like winners before the finish line is insight. We have victory. We are triumphant. We can hold our head high because help is on the way. I don’t have to get it all right, but I must keep going in Jesus Name!
I John 5:13-15 (ESV) I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.