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home : religion : inspirational reflections July 11, 2020

5/3/2020 11:16:00 AM
Your Personal Best
Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is  10% what happens to you and  90% how you react to it.'

Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is 
10% what happens to you and 
90% how you react to it.'

Rev. Susan Smith
Emanuel Reformed Church

Hebrews 11 is called the “The Faith Chapter” and it describes many generations of men and women who followed the call of God in their life. It tells how they overcame danger, suffering, fear, loss, persecution, torture, and rejection with the miraculous divine power.

In times like these it is good to remember the generations of faith that have come before us and how they endured hardship with God’s help. God was with them in their struggle. We are not the first generation to suffer. How can we be like them?

Hebrews 12:1-2
“12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

We don’t know what to believe about the COVID 19 pandemic, the future seems so uncertain, and people are suffering. Our leaders are giving us mixed messages, and we don’t know what to do but this passage gives us the key for the future. Considering the great cloud of witnesses that have gone before us gives us hope that we will make it too.

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“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” – life is like a race where we all win because we have our own personal finish line. I used to run in 10K races, but I wasn’t trying to win. My goal was just to finish the race and hopefully do better than I did the last time. Most runners are just trying to finish the race and beat their personal best. This is a good approach for life. Keep living, keep running to finish your race, and try to beat your personal best every day. While we wait on God to move in our life lets trust God more today than we did yesterday and be a better witness for Him in how we live. While we run our race let us strive to love more, forgive more, be more patient, and have more peace spiritually. Our race is to grow up in Christ through our struggle and strive to beat our spiritual personal best every day. The saints of old did this in the midst of suffering and hardship, and we can too with God’s help.

“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Runners need a focal point to keep going and not give up when the going gets tough. Focus on the Lord, not the noise of the world. He is the reason we run. Remember what He endured before He rose with all power in His hand. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, and Apostle Paul tells us our reward is coming when we cross the finish line.

2 Timothy 4:7-8
“7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

Rev. Smith is the pastor of Emanuel Reformed Church and can be reached at 828-962-8196, or PO Box 3311, Hickory NC 28603.

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