Running with Bob...
Updated: Sep 2, 2018
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 (NASB)
“Consider”, I really like this word here. What a perfect picture it gives to us to “Consider it all joy, my brethren...” To consider something means to fix the mind on, to ponder, to have respect toward, to regard to be, to think seriously.
As a believer, I must consider or fix my mind or ponder that it is joyful to go through various trials because I know that the testing of my faith will bring endurance. Endurance is defined as continuance, patience, fortitude (firmness of mind to encounter danger or to bear pain or adversity; resolute). Just imagine that the trials you are facing now will ultimately bring you a continuance or firmness of mind to keep going, journeying until the end! It’s so hard at times to see this, especially when the trial is so difficult for us.
Personal story here…I really enjoy running. My first marathon was in Springfield, Missouri. I was so excited and nervous at the same time running my first long race. I prepared, I trained and I was not letting anything stop me from finishing this race. My goal was to run my first full marathon before the year ended in 2012. The marathon was schedule for December 31, 2012, yes, the last day of the year. Two days before the race I came down with a terrible cold. I fought through it, hoping that NyQuil would be my saving grace the night before. The race was actually set for 1 pm that day due to extremely cold temperatures so I thought I could buy my body time to heal from a NyQuil hangover. Apparently, that didn’t work, so I took DayQuil pills instead right before the race began. The running track was eight laps around the same scenery. Why I chose to do this, I’ll never know, but it seemed like a good idea when I registered for it. Right about mile ten, I saw an elderly man in front of me. His name was Bob and he was eighty years old, running his two hundredth marathon. Everyone knew Bob on the course because he loved to run this race. At that moment, Bob was ahead of me and I wasn’t going to let him beat me to the finish line. I gave it all I had to pass him and then some. After that burst of energy, I had to walk a bit. I was hoping that I was on mile twenty, but no, only mile fifteen. Here comes Bob again, trying to pass me. I couldn’t let him! I kept praying, “Lord, please don’t let Bob pass me, in Jesus Name.” To tell you I beat Bob gives me complete satisfaction and accomplishment, sadly to say. But even more so when I crossed that finish line!
While this story deals with personal challenges and overcoming physical and mental adversity, as Christians, we will face many more hardships along our pathway. There may be seasons of disappointment, trials and loss and even moments when we question our faith. However, in the end, if we stay dependent upon God with a firm mind, trusting in Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, we will finish the race.
A verse that helps me endure when times are difficult is found in Isaiah 26:3, (KJV) “Thou wilt keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee.” It says that God will keep me in perfect peace, not me, not my ideas or understandings, but GOD will keep me peaceful because my mind is staying, or residing on Him. I also trust in the Lord because He has more than proven Himself trustworthy (deserving or worthy of trust or belief).
We can’t focus on what we can do or the surroundings we are in, instead we must focus on God and what He can do in and through us. He alone will give us peace for a successful journey!
As always, I’m learning right there with ya,
Thankful for His Grace,