Keep Running

Matt Schroeder

Martin Luther (the Reformation Martin Luther) said, “The devil doesn’t care which side of the horse we fall off of – as long as we don’t stay in the saddle.”

The devil is real. Hardships in this world are real. Persecution for our faith is real. Our sinful flesh yearning for sinful things is real. And what all these weights on us have the ability to do is cause us to become weary and want to quit.

Personally, one of the fights and battles in my own life that can cause so much weariness in my pursuit of Jesus is depression and insecurity. It is a fight I will battle to varying degrees all my life. It’s one of the chief ways the enemy wants to take me out. Praise God I can actually see growth and transformation happening in me with this fight, but it is something I must make the active choice to fight every single day. If I get lazy and slothful in my pursuit of Jesus, the sin grows and builds in strength. It’s a war, and to be honest, sometimes I just get flat out tired.

Maybe you have 5 kids at home, constantly cooking, cleaning, and running kids to soccer practice. There are some days you are Captain America and nothing fazes you, and there are other days you felt lucky everyone made it to the end of the day alive! The honest truth is, some days you are flat out beat and weary.

Maybe you’ve been fighting a sin struggle and it takes everything out of you to keep aggressively putting that sin to death.

Maybe you are so weary and tired because you cry yourself to sleep every night because your son or daughter has grown up and wants nothing to do with God.

Maybe you are discipling someone and it feels like that individual hasn’t moved ONE INCH in a whole year of investing in their life. It can be so taxing to continue to love someone who really could care less that you keep sacrificing so much to pour into them.

Or maybe you are quite literally coming to the end of your life and you are ready to go home!!

 

I don’t know what situation you find yourself in, but my assumption is you can relate to the feeling of being completely spent and ready to go home to be with Jesus. And if you can’t really relate to what I’m saying, I’ll give you what Matt Chandler always says about that: “If you can’t identify with the fact that life can be utterly gruesome at times, you just haven’t lived long enough.”

Paul even knows what we feel. He says in 2 Corinthians 1:8-9

“For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we thought we had received the sentence of death. But this was to make us rely not on ourselves, but on God who raises the dead.”

 

I have nothing profound to say other than:

-       you are not alone in your struggle against sin and against hardships (1 Peter 5:9)

-       Jesus CARES FOR YOU (1 Peter 5:7)

-       Jesus knows your struggle intimately and HE LOVES YOU (Hebrews 4:15)

-       Don’t give up. Don’t quit. Don’t throw in the towel. The Kingdom of God is for those who endure to the end (Matthew 24:13).

Satan doesn’t care what your struggle is, what sin you fall into, what hardships you face, all he cares about is it be enough to keep you from running your race with endurance. He just wants to keep you off the horse, off the saddle, and quit. He wants to blind you from “looking to Jesus” as you run your race all the way to the end (Hebrews 12).

Jesus is everything for us. He is the power in us to keep running. He is the love that scoops us out of the dirt when we fall. And he is our prize.

By the power of Christ, you can do it brothers and sisters.

Keep running!

 

Soak in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 this week:

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renew day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look no to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”