"He gives strength to the weary, and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:29 - 31.
Last month we were inspired and entertained by watching the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. I am always reminded of this Isaiah verse when I watch the Olympics and think of the lovely British film made in 1981 - 'Chariots of Fire'. The melody of the theme song from this movie plays in my mind as I picture the Olympic runners striding across a sandy beach with hope in their hearts and wings on their heels.
Many elements need to fall together perfectly in order to come home with a medal. Opportunity, talent, desire and most of all, perseverance and faith. The movie, 'Chariots of Fire' was a true story about Eric Liddell, a Christian who was determined to keep the Sabbath holy and not participate in the 1924 Olympic Sunday events, and a Jewish man, Harold Abrahams.
Eric Liddell said this, "I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure. I want you to compare faith to running a race. I have no formula for winning the race, everyone runs in their own way. And where does the power come from to see the race to its end? It comes from within you. If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race."
Jesus said, ". . .the kingdom of God is within you." Luke 17:21. "For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." Matthew 7:8. If God has given you the gift of faith, you will seek Him and be able to run a "straight race."
As we watched the Olympics we saw dreams years in the making come true - or not. Many of these young people did not go home with a medal. Hopefully, just being there was worth all the effort of preparation and training even if they fell short of their ultimate goal. Giving something your best effort and then being disappointed in the results isn't uncommon, in fact, it's just life.
When we can look at life through eyes of faith, we see not a single event, but a marathon with a few sprints along the way. We need to look at the total picture, not just a few select moments. We who believe, run a different race. The crown (medal) we race to win is everlasting and can never be taken away or tarnished.
"Run in such a way to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever." I Corinthians 9:24
In the movie, Chariots of Fire, the Jewish man, Harold Abrahams, makes this statement to Eric.
"You're brave, compassionate, kind: a content man. That is your secret, contentment; I am 24 and I've never known it. I'm forever in pursuit and I don't know what I am chasing."
It's continually amazing to me how God's Word is living and active and applicable to my life and circumstances - today, tomorrow, and every day! Are there days when you don't feel any contentment or peace? Do you sometimes wonder exactly what it is that you are in pursuit of? Is 'joy' just a word or do you feel God's pleasure when you are running the race He has planned for you?
We humans do stumble and fall, we grow weary. But when we have a relationship with Jesus as our Lord and Savior, He will lift us up and we will soar on wings like eagles. We will be able to look past our worldly problems - sickness, family relations, financial worries - whatever the struggle, and keep focused on our hope, Jesus, and the promises that He's made.
While preparing to write this blog, I became very curious and discovered there are many references in Scripture to 'chariots'. I did some Google exploring and was so blessed to read an article by Jeffrey J. Harrison, 'The Chariot' - you might enjoy it also. www.totheends.com/chariot.html
Lord, we thank you for giving us a place to go when we feel in need of help. You alone are the perfect One. Thank you for the richness of your word, the gift of faith, for keeping us on a straight path and for the ultimate reward - eternal life in your presence.
Bobbe Van Hise
- Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.