Life has always been interesting in terms of dealing with the present – there is always something new to learn or to experience. God gave us the capacity to (if we will) grow in knowledge, wisdom and understanding all through life. So, the present has always been interesting whether in or out of trials – it has been endurable.
What happens, however, when the biblical prophecies of long ago begin to become the present? What happens when civil government becomes uncivil? How do we react to the isolation that pandemics can bring on a culture? As God becomes less and less real in the minds of many and open hostility is expressed by them toward both Him and those who believe in Him, how do we react. What kind of impact would persecution have on us? Do we have what it takes to go the distance?
We, each, are in the race of our lives. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it” (1 Corinthians 9:24). Now, our race is winnable by each of us, but we have to run in a way that ensures success. Consider the physical example of ultra-endurance runner Samantha Gash. She actually ran non-stop for 235 miles (379 km) in a solo (supported) run across the Simpson Desert in Australia. She said, “If I really want to do something, I believe in my capacity to achieve it.” It goes without saying, that she had a goal and that she trained diligently for it, but the key to her success was belief.
Belief is the key to going the distance. Ours, however, is not a belief in ourself. The Apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Paul’s conclusion is ours. We, too, can bear any trial, perform any duty or subdue any evil propensity within ourselves through the power of Christ within us – through the Holy Spirit. In John 15:5, Christ referred to Himself as the vine and to us as the attached branches that could, then, bear much fruit. Without that faith, we can bear nothing. With it, the possibilities of bearing “much fruit” are endless. Faith is the way in which we are to run our race.
It was also Paul who wrote,“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Faith, our key to going the distance, comes by hearing. We realize, of course, the fact that someone is hearing means that someone else is speaking. These two factors, then, make our success a social interaction. In regard to our spiritual endurance, Jude said, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit” (Jude 1:20). We are to build up ourselves – meaning those within the body of Christ – with our most holy faith. Faith, therefore, comes by sharing our rock-solid belief in our God among ourselves through whatever means of communication we have at our disposal and so much the more as we see the day approaching.
So, the answer to our question then is, WE have got what it takes to go the distance through faith!