Keep the Faith
Open Your Bible
2 Timothy 4:5-22, Deuteronomy 31:6-8, James 1:12, 1 John 3:1-5
I’ve moved seventeen times in my thirty-five years. The whole deal: put stuff in boxes, new neighborhood, new friends, new life.
And I’ve loved most of those moves. I really have. The thing is, I like a fresh start. I enjoy a different grocery store. I love the feeling of newness, possibility, and mail-forwarding.
Some of that is probably personality. Sometimes, I was happy to move because I felt God doing something and I was excited to be part of it. But, if I’m honest, some of those moves seemed more like escapes. Sometimes, life felt hard and packing up felt like the eject button that would free me from a circumstance that might require perseverance, patience, discipline. Bleh. That’s three terrible sounding words for a person stuck in self-centeredness.
Maybe you’ve had seasons like that. Maybe your heart has been distracted from God’s beauty and God’s Word, and your flesh tends to walk in fear and to get stuck in discouragement. To look for an escape, rather than looking for how God might use you to love who you’re with and worship Him with your life.
But, God’s wisdom in passages like today’s reminds us that we can walk out our faith with courage and endurance, because the Lord Himself goes before us and will be with us, never leaving or forsaking us (Deuteronomy 31:8). His Word reminds us it is worth it to stay.
What beautiful encouragement Moses gave to Joshua, and what a beautiful truth we can carry with us when fighting the good fight, finishing the race, and keeping the faith feel hard or scary. God goes with us. God stays with us. Enduring always means the presence of God.
I don’t know how many moves I have in my future, or if God’s planted me where I’m at for good, but I know the reason I can finish any race is because Jesus Christ is with me. He finished the race where we didn’t. He finished the race when we couldn’t even start. Because of Him, we know there is a glorious crown of life in our future.
My tendency may be to run away from conflict and pain, but after decades of walking with the Lord and trying to shape my life around His Word, He’s shown me that there is so much blessing in staying close to Him, close to His Word, close to His will. There is so much joy that comes from enduring.
Stay in the race. Keep the faith. Remember that what might feel bleh to our flesh can feel like a blessing when we are walking in His Spirit.