It is my pleasure to introduce Tracey McDonald as our guest author today! I had the honor of first meeting Tracey at church, when my she kept my eldest child in the nursery at Church of the Highlands, about 5 years ago and God has continued to cross our paths since.
She is a beautiful wife, mother and newly grandmother to 3 precious blessings. Her love for the Lord and servant’s heart is so very infectious and her words are blessed.
Tracey, we are honored to have you share your time and talent with us. ~ Heather Whidden
“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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author 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”. Hebrews 12:1-2
This scripture promises us that God, the author and perfecter of our faith has hand selected specific paths for each of us. The legal definition of perfect (title) is to take certain actions or follow certain procedures required by law in order to create a security interest that is enforceable. A perfect title is a title that is clear, and free from any reasonable doubt as to any fact or point of law upon which validity depends. I love how this legal definition has application to us as Christian race runners. The action we must take is to simply keep our eyes focused on Jesus and He will perfect our title and security interest in His holiness. As believers, we can rest in knowing that the Christian race we are running has been set out by God, who loves us so much that He gave His Son to die for us! Surely a God who loves His children this much would only stake out a path that leads to eternal glory beyond measure.
Time and time again, I turn to this promise to remind myself that God has perfected my faith and will sustain my faith beyond any doubt. Life is just hard sometimes; and sometimes I get so weary from praying for something for so long. When I know that my prayer is in alignment with the will of God, I meditate on this scripture to sustain my faith not only in God’s timing, but in the path God has chosen for me. I can rest in knowing that however God chooses to answer my prayer, He will work it out for my good. The promise of God’s word gives us clear and abiding certainty that although there may be many mountains to be climbed or moved, many barriers to push through and many forks in our path to navigate, we can rest in the assurance that God has set the race before us for our victory and glory that we might be partakers of His holiness.
As I run my race with eyes fixed on Jesus, I do not want to simply survive, I want to run with perseverance and endurance. Biblical endurance is more than just surviving. It is derived from the Greek word hupomone, which means “cheerful endurance,”or“hopeful waiting.” Biblical endurance speaks to our disposition in waiting as much as it does to the ability to wait. It’s more than just making it across the finish line. It’s the outlook we maintain while we run the race. In other words, we have to endure with joy to claim victory in tough seasons. Hopeful waiting is a powerful disposition that believes that God not only can, but will change our circumstances. It’s a mindset filled with confident optimism and assurance in Christ. Confident expectation calls us to a deeper level of faith; perfected faith.
Admittedly, it is sometimes challenging to maintain cheerful endurance and hopeful waiting when the wait is seemingly too long. God in His infinite and unfailing love for us gave us many promises to rely on in times of trial. Hebrews 12:1-2 is a promise that gives me comfort and assurance in every season of trial that God, not man and not circumstances, is the author and perfecter of my faith and He will sustain me as I faithfully navigate the path He has set before me.
Your Turn: Are you running a race right now that you feel will never end? Are you struggling to keep your focus on Jesus so you can persevere? Are you finally in the home stretch of your race and can look back and see the benefits of maintaining a confident outlook as you ran? We’d love to hear from you! Please share below. ~ Breath on Paper