Recently I have experienced a onslaught of spiritual attacks that have caused me great despair throughout my life. The Scripture reminds us that our struggle is not a physical struggle only but a spiritual one (Ephesians 6:12) and I must confess, I feel like I have lost many more battles than I’ve won. In my time walking as a follower of Jesus, I have often quoted the Scriptures that tell us that our faith filled life is like a race (Hebrews 12:1) or a war (1 Timothy 1:18) and tried to remind myself to be a good solider (2 Timothy 3:5). Today, I want to confess: I’m tired.
Hebrews 12:1 tells us: let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. If I’m being honest, lately I feel like I’ve been running in quicksand. The pressure has mounted and I feel like I will crumble in my weakness. It is here, in the midst of my deepest weakness that the reminder echos in my heart: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Throughout 2019 and well into 2020 I’ve found myself saying “I’m trying”. I’m trying to be a better husband, a better father, a more faithful servant, to eat right, to live a more vibrant, Christ honoring life. I’m trying. Honestly I’ve reached a point where I am tired of trying, but I wonder if that’s the point. As I continue to focus on what I can do, as I continue to examine my own life in light of my own strength, I am taking my eyes off Jesus. In some ways, maybe I’ve been running the race, but I’ve failed to keep my eyes on Jesus. Hebrews continues: fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
As I’ve found myself running in quicksand, I’ve also found myself taking my eyes off Jesus and somehow thinking I can finish this work that He has started. Scripture reminds us that the One who started a good work in us (the Holy Spirit) will continue that work until the very end of time as we know it (Philippians 1:6).
To every follower of Jesus that feels weary and tired, you aren’t alone. Jesus has promised to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) and encourages us to come to Him in our weakest moments to find true rest (Matthew 11:28). At some point, each of us will come to the end of our own strength. When you find yourself trying to run in quicksand, fix your eyes on Jesus and cry out to Him, He will strengthen you and help you bare whatever burdens your facing.
Whatever you do, do not lose heart (Hebrews 12:3). Do not give up (Galatians 6:9). Keep fighting the good fight. Rest in the presence of Jesus. Never forget: we aren’t fighting for victory, we are fighting from victory.
Special note from the author: If you’ve read the words I’ve written today, but you don’t read and mediate on the Scripture, nothing will change. My words cannot change your life. The Scriptures I’ve shared though can change everything (Hebrews 4:12).
Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV) – 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 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. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.