To the finish line!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author unknown

We can find inspiration from the life of John Stephen Akhwari, as told in Bud Greenspan’s book 100 Greatest Moments in Olympic History.

When the winner crossed the finish line in the 1968 Mexico City Olympic marathon, the officials and spectators thought that had been the highlight of the race. Then, an hour later, John Stephen Akhwari, a runner from Tanzania, entered the stadium. Bloodied and bandaged from a fall, and with a dislocated knee, he limped painfully.

As Akhwari made his way around the track in the setting sun, the remaining crowd began to cheer loudly. When he crossed the finish line, you would have thought by the roar of the crowd that Akhwari had been the victor.

Later, when asked why he had not dropped out, Akhwari replied, “I don’t think you understand. My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start the race. They sent me 5,000 miles to finish the race.”

When you’re bruised and bloodied by life, press on; your Creator did not send you here to start the race, but to finish it! “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:1–2)

Dr. A. B. Meldrum put it this way: “Bear in mind, if you are going to amount to anything, that your success does not depend on the brilliancy and the impetuosity with which you take hold, but upon the everlasting and sanctified bull-doggedness with which you hang on after you have taken hold.” Or in other words, “Fight the good fight of faith!” (1 Timothy 6:12)

The Scottish minister and hymnist George Matheson was someone else who didn’t quit, despite the onset of blindness. His advice: “We conquer—not in any brilliant fashion—we conquer by continuing.”

Keep going, no matter what the cost. Keep fighting, no matter what bruises you get. Keep running, no matter how many times you stumble and fall. Your cuts and bruises and scrapes and scars are medals of honour in God’s sight, signs that you had the faith, courage, determination, and commitment to keep going even when it was tough! You may have fallen, but you refused to quit.

At the end of the race, you’ll be able to say, like the apostle Paul: “My only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me.” (Acts 20:24)

Faith in times of crisis

No matter how devastating, irreversible, or hopeless things seem when you’re facing a major setback or a life-threatening situation, you can choose to continue to actively trust in Jesus and refuse to let go of that abiding trust. Faith isn’t the absence of fear; faith is what overcomes fear.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for. We wouldn’t be hoping for something if we already had it in our hands. Faith is the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1) We wouldn’t need evidence that something is real if we could see it with our eyes.

You know that God will ultimately make things right in the next life, but that knowledge doesn’t lessen the struggles of possibly facing very painful experiences or death. At this moment in time it’s not the next life that you are having to deal with, it’s the present.

It can be pretty scary when you’re in a bad situation and you can’t see any natural way out of the dilemma. But that’s when faith comes to the fore. You just have to keep believing and trusting, no matter what things look like.

You have to keep walking on the solid ground of what God has told you to do in spite of dire circumstances, knowing that no matter how hopeless it looks or how bad things get, Jesus has you in His arms.

You may feel afraid of what you’re facing. You may not see anything you can do to fix the situation you’re in. But God’s intervention in your life isn’t based on your self-confidence. It’s based on your belief in Him and your trust in His unlimited power, goodness, and love.

You just have to believe that God can bring about what is best in His time and His way, if not in this life, then in the life to come, because you trust Him. Faith knows what is most important to know: “God will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

None of us know what lies ahead. We often can’t know if that setback we’re facing or the things we’re suffering will be gone in a minute or a month, or if they will last a lifetime. What faith knows is that Jesus will not leave us comfortless; He’ll be there walking with us.

Jesus is proud of us when we look at the waves and the winds of adversity and do like Peter did with Him. Peter said to Jesus, “Bid me come out to you on the water.” (Matthew 14:28) He was ready to jump right into the challenges because he’d seen God’s power in Jesus and was ready to put himself into those hands that he trusted would never fail him.

What are the challenges that you’re facing? What impossible situations are looming big in your life? Will you step out on the waters to meet Jesus right now so that His power can be manifested in your life? Take the step of faith, and even if you feel that momentary sinking feeling at times, you only have to call out to Him and He’ll bring you through in His perfect time and way.

Now isn’t that amazing

The solution to our problems and despair may not be as hard as we imagine.

Let’s say you’re going through a desperate time and have lost your bearings, or are experiencing loss, suffering, grief, or big changes in life, to the point that you question how you’re going to go on.  Sometimes in the midst of problems and hopelessness, you can barely even have faith that God will hear you. What can you do?

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One hundred percent

by Steven Furtick

I’ve told the story of my grandfather before in different venues. Papa, as we called him, was one of the greatest men of God I’ve ever known. But he also experienced one of the greatest hardships I’ve ever seen. Papa watched his wife of over 50 years slowly lose her mind and body to Alzheimer’s. By the end, she started to literally scream curses and obscenities at him. But he handled it with more grace and faith than you can imagine. Regardless of grandmother’s condition, he would go every day to the nursing home and comb her hair and tell her she was beautiful until they would kick him out.

Papa died about eighteen months before Grandma passed away. The final scenes of their marriage were pitiful, really, from a purely earthly perspective. Healing never came. And it broke Papa’s heart. But still, surprisingly, every time you would ask Papa how he was doing, he’d always say the same thing: 100%.

As a kid, it always bothered me that he said

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