[Run to Win] Running With Perseverance

Day 1 of 4 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Do Not Lose Heart

It can be quite exhausting and discouraging to constantly give 110% of yourself all the time while training, practicing, and playing well, day in and day out. This is especially true when the season is a long one, and the opposition keeps coming at you.

Every winning team can tell you of seasons in which they lost year after year before they started winning. The teams that didn’t get discouraged and continued to train, practice, work, and play hard reapedthe rewards of winning in due time. There are countless stories of seemingly hapless teams rising to prominence one season, playing as a team, and winning, even though they had lost in the past.

Paul encouraged the Christians in the church in Galatia to not grow weary of doing good in their everyday lives or running the race of the Christian life. This sentiment can also be stated this way, “Do not lose heart.” Why? Because doing good was hard to do consistently. In the face of opposition, the church could become discouraged. Paul knew that when you lose heart, you lose the mental battle, and the loss of the physicalbattle is not far behind.

In the spiritual life, losing heart leads to giving up mentally, which leads to growing faint spiritually. When discouragement sets in, we no longer see God’s miraculous hand on our lives. We miss what He has in store for us and the hope that He is with us, at work in our lives, strengthening us for His purposes.

When athletes get discouraged, they can find themselves in a slump, and getting out of that isn’t easy. It has been said there is little difference between a rut and a groove—it just takes a different attitude. Paul says, “Do not grow weary of doing good even in competition. Trust that God is at work.”

Lord, show me Your hand at work in my life and help me not grow weary of what I am called to do in the race that I run. Strengthen me for running the race and finishing well.