Running the Race in 2022
Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV
I recently ran a half-marathon. As everyone gathered to start the race there was a sense of nervous excitement in the air. It was fascinating to watch the multitude of people of all shapes and sizes gather as the race was about to begin, each of us finding our starting positions according to the time we anticipated finishing the race.
As the race started, I found myself searching the crowd for someone to fix my eyes on, another runner to help me keep the pace I wanted. It wasn’t long before I found someone to follow. With my eyes firmly fixed on the person ahead I soon discovered my stride and let myself get carried away by the movement. The energy and rhythm of the runners around me encouraging me onwards.
When running a long-distance race, most of those competing don’t run it to come first. It is about taking part; it is about accomplishing something for ourselves and to inspire others. Everyone who finished the half-marathon got a medal in the end. While in the moment, the race can be difficult and even painful, we persevere for the joy of achieving the goal and of attaining the prize.
So it is with our spiritual lives. The spiritual race is different for everyone, and while at times we can stumble and even fall, we endure for the joy set before us. For the prize that awaits us in Christ.
As we begin this new year and think of what the next 12 months have in store for us, let us remember that we do not face the year ahead alone. The miracle of Christmas is that God sent his Son to be our pacemaker and coach, to help us finish the race and obtain our prize. No matter what hills lie ahead of us, Jesus is with us, providing the rhythms of grace that we need to keep us moving forwards.
Almighty God, Heavenly Father, let us run the race with joy, the joy that comes from knowing your one and only Son, from knowing that we are never alone and that for the year ahead and the eternity to come you will be there for us, your love urging us onwards. To you be all honour and praise. Amen
Study by Gavin Henderson
About the writer: Gavin Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for GCI UK and Ireland
Local congregation: GCI Northampton Ecton Village Hall 78A High Street Ecton NORTHAMPTON NN6 0QB
Meeting time: Saturday 11am
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