Yes, we live in a broken world and life is filled with pain, challenges, dark times and trials, but today can still be a day of thanksgiving and praise because praise and thanksgiving have little to do with our circumstances and everything to do with our inner attitude toward God.
Sometimes we get to choose what we leave behind.
We choose a new city and leave behind an old one. We end a bad relationship, and move on, single but thriving. Other times we don't have a say. We lose a relationship, or a job, or a loved one unexpectedly. There's nothing we can do to stop it.
In my opinion, these instances make it feel most impossible to move forward.
But the future only moves one direction, and it keeps moving weather we move with it or not. This doesn't mean we don't grieve the loss of the things we love. It means we choose to enter the process of grief, no matter how painful it is, so we can come out new on the other side.
"Remember that relationship? Remember that group of people? Remember that trip? Remember that experience?" Meanwhile, my life was moving on without me. Because the future only moves one direction.
The future only moves one direction, and if you want to stay present and receptive to all that life has to offer you, you're going to have to move with it.
We live in a culture that pushes us to strive for “more.” Even in our faith it can feel this way. We step into the demands with good intentions–all we want is to make the most of this one life God has given us. Then we find ourselves weary and wondering if God is disappointed with us because we just can’t keep up. We can’t be “enough.”
This mindset is rooted in a culture that says: More is better. And biggest is best. But that’s not the way the Kingdom works. God doesn’t want you to do as much as you can, as quick as you can, however you can. Instead he wants you to specifically, strategically, simply to do what He has put you on earth to do.
Thousands of people turn to cults and sects, hoping to find something Christianity can't give them. Usually, they don't want to take the responsibility Christ gives to live a holy and upright life. It is easier to run away to somewhere where the self doesn't matter so much, then to face the problems right in front of us. Sadly, there is no place to run. Jesus is the only true answer to a life that is empty and void. Strange gods come and go. They have no staying power. They may be attractive for a while, but only God endures forever.
God has revealed Himself in many ways to every person, everywhere. He has given us the testimony of His own creation. Romans 1:20 tells us, "For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. . . ."
One of our greatest hindrances is our preoccupation with ourselves. Instead of staying focused ahead on the road that we are running, we begin to compare ourselves to other runners. We begin looking to our sides and behind us, instead keeping our eyes forward. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus who stands at the finish line waiting for us to complete the race. He should always be the focus of our faith because He is the giver and wellspring of faith.
Recently, I have met some people who are walking away from following Christian faith. Are you feeling discouraged in your Christian race? Are you like the sprinter who does too much then experiences burnout? Are you the overburdened runner who is encumbered by doubts and sins and worries? God is calling us to move forward. If you are feeling weak, tired, and unmotivated; fix your eyes upon Jesus. He is the greatest role model of faith and wants to motivate you and encourage you and equip you in your race. Pray for His help today so that you can become a long-distance runner in your faith journey.