“Therefore let us also, seeing we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:1, 2)
The Christian life is compared with a marathon race. It is not a hundred meters dash. It is a marathon race. We need to learn how to be champions, not just for a day or two, but a life time gold medalists. Jesus is our example and teacher. Follow Him and you shall surely fulfill your destiny. What we need most of all is not strength, wisdom or skill. Surprisingly, the first thing we need to run and complete the race is patience. To tell you the truth, this surprises me. In the past, I did not invest enough effort in being patient. I thought that is an old fashioned strategy. I did not believe that patient people are the real champions. How wrong I was…
Patience is defined as bearing under provocation, pain or delay without complain, anger or change of direction. It is a mindset that helps you never to give up on your God’s given vision of life. Patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit growing in the garden heart of the true believer. To be patient it means that I shall be faithful to what God showed me about my life, my marriage, my future and ministry. Sin tries to bring me down, to slow me or to take me astray. Patience will keep me on the right road that ends with a crown. Truly patient people are never disappointed. Patiently I will avoid the devil’s snares. Patiently, I learn to let go of all emotional attachments coming from losers who have no desire to pay the price for a crown. As for me, I want that crown, so I made up my mind to run the race with patience!
What is the opposite of patience? What is the danger of being patient? It is to be impatient, hasty of restless. These are designed to push you to go astray, abandoning the appointed path of the marathon. All unbelievers are impatient. Making close friends with unbelievers will expose you to the danger of impatience. Haste is living in a hurry; it is an over-eagerness to act. Acting impatiently is always the product of foolishness. When you cannot wait before you make a decision, when you cannot pray and think of the consequence or your actions, you become impatient and you shall be disqualified in the race. Remember: Sin is always done in a hurry and haste leads to poverty (PV 19:2; 21:5). To me, this is a serious warning. I do not want to end in poverty. Therefore I shall learn to be patient with people and with myself.
Patience has wonderful eyes! It sees the light at the end of the tunnel and the crown at the end of the battle. Our Lord endured so much opposition from foolish and evil men. But He saw the joy ahead. He never stopped seeing the crown! He passed thru the shame and pain of the Cross. He finished the race. Jesus is now the King of kings and the Lord of lords! Jesus is now the happiest Person in the universe. He is God and He is self-sufficient. But as a Man on earth, He showed us the path ahead. Let us take our cross and follow Him! This is the song of true champions! Can you sing it? Is your heart stir up to desire to be like Jesus?
“Lord Jesus, please help me to be more patient…help me not to be distracted and impatient… Help me to be a champion in the marathon race of the Christian life… Help me to win the eternal crown of righteousness… Help me to be like You! I give You alone all the glory! In Jesus name I pray, amen!”