Your happiness in life as a Christian comes out of faithfulness.
We could look at the word “faithfulness” as the choice of being loyal and dependable to some standards or way of life.
There’s a Scripture that can help us understand faithfulness better as Christians:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and 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.
Life is a race!
It’s not a race that requires you to be the fastest. The reason is that in your race, you’re the only running it. In other words, no one can run your race. Also, no one should determine the pace you need to go from one place to the next.
The race you’re in did not come as a result of your own choice. You happen to be alive and running the race God has set before you.God doesn't want you to run your race fast. God, however, wants you to go as far as you can get in your race. Click To Tweet
Never run the race alone
Yes, the race is set before you for you to run it.
But, remember that on the journey other people also run their races. Take a look at verse 1 from Hebrews 12,
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
There are and will always be a cloud of witnesses on the road.
Imagine driving on any highway. Do you choose to be the only one driving a vehicle on this specific road?
All the people who seem to be driving in all directions are on the road (and in their races) going someplace, just like you.
Some pay attention to you running (driving or walking) through, and others don’t even notice you.
Everywhere you go, there will be someone who can see, watch or hear you. These witnesses can either encourage, support or cheer for you. There may be others who can discourage, pull you down, etc.
Make sure you join with those who will encourage, support and inspire you to faithfully run your race. Ways to do it include, but not only limited to:
- Go to Church as often as you can.
- Join a small group of good people at Church.
- Start a Bible study group.
Remember that, just as others are witnesses to you, you also are a witness to a lot of other people.
You have to be an encourager, a supporter, and an inspiration to somebody.
Read more about how to be so in this article, five ways to help you stand out as a Christian.
You’ve got a choice to make
Let’s begin with verse one again,
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely …
There’s one thing you need to do to make your race easier, lay aside every weight and sin.
The Greek word that translates into “weight” (in most English Bible versions) also means the following:
If you’re to walk or run a 5k marathon, will you take with you a 20-pound backpack?
Of course, no.
You would want to make sure that you don’t have any burden, bulk or encumbrance.
That applies to real life.
For you to faithfully run the race God has set before you, you need to be as light as possible. That way, you’ll go as far as you can in life.
But, life brings about lots of backpacks as a result of our broken relationships, disappointments, failures, fears, stress, and more.
So what do we do with all these backpacks we genuinely don’t need in our race?
The answer is what Jesus gave to His disciples, and is giving the same to us today,
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11: 28-29. ESV.
Yes, that’s what you and I have to do in our individual races. We’ve got to drop all our heavy backpacks at the feet of Jesus Christ.
In exchange, Jesus will give us rest and a yoke that’s light to carry with us on the journey.
Let’s do the same with sin and all its guilt and shame. Don’t choose to give up on your race (life).
Stay in the race, while seeking forgiveness and trusting God to take away all your shame and guilt resulting from our sinful nature.
You should keep pressing on, no matter what you face in life.
Embrace these two attitudes
Based on Hebrews 12, the Scripture we’re using for our reflection, there are two attitudes we can find in verses 1 and 2.
First, Run the race with endurance
To run with endurance means that you’re able to withstand adversity or any form of hardship on your journey.
It also stands for choosing not to give up because of stressful situations in which you may find yourself.
To run the race with endurance is that you accept whatever challenge you encounter in your race.
You choose to be patient and tolerate it while pressing on in spite of the adverse conditions (or situations) you may face.
Second, Look to Jesus Christ
Our faith is active and alive through Jesus Christ.
He is the Founder of our faith. Jesus Christ justifies us when we choose to make Him our personal Lord and Savior.
Jesus is also the Perfecter of our faith.
- He sanctifies us in our individual races.
- He transforms and equips us for the race.
- He gives us clarity on God’s calling in our lives.
Jesus did it all.
- He understands all human suffering and pain.
- He ran your race. He’s the pioneer in your life (Hebrews 12: 2. NIV).
- He is God.
Faithfulness helps us live happy as Christians. It gives us strength to keep moving forward no matter what we face. Choosing to keep our eyes on Jesus Christ, He justifies and perfects us on a daily basis. As a result, we live happy as Christians.