by Brandy Webb
My last couple blogs have been about faith, and I realized that, with faith, we must also have perseverance. Don’t give up even if it seems like Jesus is slow at returning. Don’t give up running the race of righteousness. This race is not a sprint but a very long marathon, and one of these days there will be a finish line.
Thankfully, we can look at our Bibles, and get comfort from the many that have lived before us, like Abraham, Joseph, Moses, the apostles, Paul, and many others. These patriarchs did not give up and throw in the towel, even though they knew they weren’t going to see the promise fulfilled in their lives.
Abraham followed God into an unknown land based on the promise that the land would belong to his descendants. He never fully owned the land himself, but he believed in God’s promise. He saw the promise from afar, and stayed on the path of righteousness, acknowledging that he was a stranger on the earth (Heb 11:13).
Joseph didn’t give up when he was a slave and then a prisoner. He was mistreated, but he didn’t give up on hope. Moses didn’t quit following God, even though he knew that he was not going to be able to enter the Promised Land.
Paul realized Christ wasn’t going to return before his death; however, he still followed the path of righteousness. He willingly suffered for Christ also. Five times he received forty lashes, three times beaten by rods, stoned, shipwrecked three times, imprisoned, and eventually he was martyred. Yet, he never gave up on following God.
It is easy to want to throw in the towel when things don’t go our way, when we lose someone we love, when a healing we desire doesn’t happen, or anything else that life throws at us that is not positive. However, we can’t give up. We must stand strong and follow our spiritual ancestors. The story isn’t over yet. Who knows whose names will be added to the book? When we stand strong, continuing the race, we give others an example to follow.
Therefore, “do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Pet 3:8-9). So, wipe the “sweat” off your brow, drink some “water,” and keep running toward the Promised Land.