And the angel said unto them, "Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings
of great joy, which shall be to all people."
I was listening to a sermon recently and the point that got my attention was the fact that we should stay the course. Many years ago, when I was a child, I remember my grandmother telling me that I had to learn to finish what I started. I can’t remember what I was doing to prompt her to say that to me, but her words have stuck with me to this day. Listening to this point in this sermon reminded me of that.
We love to say that the hardest part is to start, and you know what, I usually would agree. Many times, we have a thought, a plan, a vision in our minds and even on paper, but we just can’t seem to get it off the ground. When we finally do make that first step to make it a reality, somehow it just seems to get easier from that point. However, as I listened to this sermon, I realized that in fact it can be even more difficult to stay the course. I thought of a marathon and that along the way there may be various obstacles and challenges. The focus may not be to simply win the race but to finish it and over the years I have watched races where the athlete for one reason or another dropped out of the race and never crossed the finish line. At the end of the day finishing somehow for an athlete becomes even more or just as important as winning. Being able to complete a race, especially a marathon, gives a person a sense of accomplishment, a feeling of “Yes, I made it!”
It’s the same thing with life. We will face storms and challenges, but the goal is always to finish our race, or as some of the stories in the Bible, to get to the other side. At various times, the disciples got caught in storms and in those accounts given in the Bible, they never once turned back, they always moved forward to their destination. Jesus usually came to the rescue to calm the storm, but He never told them to go back, they always had to keep going forward to their destination. They had to stay the course no matter what.
The temptation to “jump ship” will always present itself to us when challenges and danger come our way. But our goal should always be to reach the destination that God has mapped out for us. In my own life I can tell you that there have times when I wanted to “jump ship,” I wanted to give up because the course seemed too hard, too painful. There would even be people around me encouraging me to give up, why bother to continue travelling such a difficult road. But I remember the story in the Bible about two roads, one broad and easy but the other narrow and difficult. Many people choose the broad, easy road, and that’s totally normal, but only a few choose the narrow, difficult one. Here’s the thing: the broad, easy, popular road will always be the more tempting road to choose because on that road you get to do what you want, live how you want. But unfortunately, that road leads to destruction. The narrow, difficult one will always be the least popular because it’s too hard, too restricted, there are too many potholes and challenges, yet, that road leads to eternal life in Christ. It’s also the road where our character is molded and shaped into what God wants it be. It’s the road with the greatest reward at the end.
For more than twenty years, I have been travelling this narrow road. A number of times I wanted to “jump ship” I wanted to turn back and follow the broad road. But the longer I stayed on this road, the more I have come to appreciate this road in spite of all the challenges. You see, on this road I have a Helper, a Comforter, a Friend who is ALWAYS there with and for me. I am NEVER alone. I always have support and strength as needed. On this road there is a guarantee of rewards at the end of this journey; a guarantee of receiving double blessings and even more for all the trouble I face on this road. I choose to stay the course because I know in whom I have believed. He has promised to never leave or abandon me and once I stick with Him I will NEVER be disappointed.
So, my encouragement to you today, is to stay the course. I cannot guarantee you that it will be easy. It will be downright difficult at times to the point where you want to give up. But once Jesus is on your side YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE IT! If you haven’t yet accepted Christ into your life as Lord and Saviour, please make that step. Simply ask Him to come into your life and forgive you of all your sins. Once Jesus is in your life, He will walk with you every step of the way on your life’s journey. In the tough times He will be your strength and comfort and He will ALWAYS get you to your destination safe and sound no matter what danger comes your way. With Jesus in your boat – or on that narrow road with you - you can’t lose!
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.