Finishing strong in the midst of troublesome circumstances is one of the major challenges we face in life.
Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima was no exception. In the recent Rio Olympics, he was chosen to ignite the cauldron during the opening ceremonies. De Lima, a distance runner, is best known for taking home bronze medal instead of gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics because he was pushed to the sidelines by a protester. (video here)
He was leading late in the run but his dream of getting gold was crushed because Cornellius Horan grabbed him and knocked him into the crowd.
As a result, De Lima lost several seconds from his time causing him to finish 3rd instead of 1st. But De Lima remained positive, buoyant and unfazed. He crossed the finish line with a joyful attitude and a cheery smile. He had a choice to stay in the ground when he was pushed to the sidelines. Yet, he did not allow that set back to keep him on the ground.
The author of Hebrews put it this way:
“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the Founder and Perfecter of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2)
We can run the race with endurance because of these 3 reasons:
1. Jesus is the founder of our faith.
He started our faith. And what He starts, He will complete.
2. Jesus is the Perfecter of our faith.
He has the ability to strengthen and perfect our faith in the middle of the raise.
3. Jesus is our finish line.
It’s not the rewards we will receive in heaven that will keep us going. Jesus is the Finish Line. He is the goal. He is our prize.
Heavenly Father, I thank You for the strength to endure the race, grace to keep going and joy to stay in the race in the midst of challenges. Thank You that this race is going to be all worth it for You called me to run it and I will stay in it because You are my finish line. Help me to consider it all joy when I face difficulties of various kinds because I know that the testing will produce perseverance so that at the end, I will finish and lacking no good thing. I commit to You all that I do. May my life be as worship unto you.
IN JESUS’ NAME. AMEN.
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