In John 16:33 Jesus encourages us, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
It’s common knowledge that trouble being nonexistent in our lives is a rare experience.
And yet, when faced with trouble do we have peace, take heart, and lay claim to both the promise and the hope that Jesus has overcome the world?
Do we also lay claim to the promise and the power Jesus speaks of in Luke 10:19?
“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”
Although not many of us are marathon runners in the physical sense, as believers we are life-long marathon runners in the spiritual sense.
Father trains us, prepares us, and has us run spiritual marathons for the duration of our walk of faith.
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. – Acts 20:24
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. – 1 Cor 9:24
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. – Hebrews 12:1
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. – 2 Tim 4:7
Because real risking in faith can occur only in those areas of life where we feel most impoverished and vulnerable, it never becomes something we are really comfortable with. For each layer of trust that builds up, another, more challenging risk is offered.
True faith choices, therefore, always feel like risks; they just go on, involving deeper and deeper levels of our being. Each choice remains difficult; what really becomes conditioned in this process is simply our willingness and readiness to take the risks of faith. They never stop feeling like risks.
If you’re currently being faced with the choice to gut it out or give in, I pray you remember inspiring words of truth from Habakkuk 3:19 (AMP):
The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!