I’m a runner. Well, more of a jogger, to be honest. I’ll never be seen at the front of any competitive marathons, competing with elite runners. But I’ve run just enough of these things to know that the most important thing about preparing for and completing a long run is willpower.
A determined will enables old people, heavy people, people with artificial limbs, along with all other kinds of people who are in severe pain to make steady progress until they cross a finish line. People endure cramps, fatigue, stomach sickness and other kinds of crazy discomfort because nothing will make them happier than running that course and crossing the finish line.
Interesting how determination blends with delight. It’s true in the experience of the distance runner and it’s true in the life of the faithful follower of Christ. Believers, like distance runners, press on in faith following Jesus even when the journey is crazy uncomfortable. Why? Because to do less would be completely un-satisfying.
With that in mind, I want to make one simple recommendation at the outset of 2017. Determine to run your race of faith well this year. Start this year with renewed determination to be a faithful and fruitful follower of Jesus.
Jacob “vowed a vow.” Daniel “purposed in his heart.” Jesus “set His face like flint.”
Paul did “this one thing.” You and I should do the same – determine to move forward for His glory! Nothing else will make us happy.
Pastor Johnny Hunt, former president of the SBC and pastor of First Baptist Church Woodstock, Georgia, told me and some other guys sitting around a room discussing life and ministry, “Guys I never improved at anything because I loved it. I improved because my love caused me to discipline.”
Praying for you to have a fulfilling and fruitful 2017,