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Run With Endurance – Gospel for Asia

February 2nd, 2011

I am always intrigued when I watch the start of the marathon during the summer Olympics. All the runners appear to be in top physical shape, excited to represent their countries and determined to win the gold medal.

However, it’s an entirely different story when I watch them 15 or 20 miles later. They look exhausted from the hot sun that beats down on them or miserable because of rain that makes their road slippery. Some have trouble breathing when the race takes them over a mountain, and others struggle to keep up with the fast pace.

Although everyone, no matter how long it takes them to cross the finish line, is celebrated with cheers and applause, some runners will never get there. Somewhere along the route they drop out of the race due to exhaustion, injury or discouragement.

In the marathon race and in our Christian life, persevering until the end is what it’s all about, not just starting well. What do I mean? Don’t give up your walk with Jesus; endure in the call He gave you to win this lost world and build His kingdom.

Like the marathon runners, we, too, will encounter adversities along the way that could cause us to quit the race. What are some of these adversities?

• Relationship problems with other Christians that severely threaten our treasured self-life.

• Physical and financial setbacks that cause us to lose hope.

• Lack of apparent fruit and thus fulfillment in our service to the Lord.

• Facing our latent failures and sins that expose our unbrokenness, pride, selfishness, stubbornness or critical spirit.

• Frustration when serving the Lord becomes hard work and the feelings are gone.

• Feeling inadequate and overwhelmed by the expectations of others.

• Spiritual dryness that comes when God tests us to see if we will still walk with Him by faith, even when there is nothing within or without to support us.

• Losing sight of our priorities—shifting from serving the Lord to protecting our self-interests.

I have served the Lord full-time for the past 40 years. From my own life and experience, I can tell you this: The godliest Christian leaders I have met, the most challenging sermons I have heard and the best books I have read on evangelism and discipleship have not been enough to help me survive in the race!

Only one thing has kept me in the ministry and following Christ, and that is learning and practicing what the writer of Hebrews said: “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1–2).

This entry was written by K.P Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia, with the intention of encouraging and edifying the Body of Christ. To learn more about Gospel for Asia or to receive additional free resources, visit Gospel for Asia’s website.


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