Summary: In each trial that we go through, we have the option of learning a life lesson. staying focused is a way that we can finish this race strong and accomplish all that God wants for our lives.
Life’s Pitfalls and Discoveries
Staying focused and finishing strong
We continue in the series called Life’s Pitfall and Discoveries.
Week one, we looked at the problem of un-forgiveness and the positive discovery of what forgiveness does in our lives.
Week two at the wisdom God has for us to learn in our trials and our temptations.
Trials; Trials can also be caused by other people’s actions and unavoidable and God still desires for us to learn valuable lessons from them.
Temptation does not come from God. God is not tempted by evil nor does He use evil to cause us to do things that are against the principals of God.
Temptations come our way from our own selfish ways, desiring things that we cannot have and also by disobedience and desiring the temptation more that we want to please God.
Guardrails and bumpers are set up by God so that He can guide us and help us avoid the avoidable trials and give us strength and wisdom when we face the unavoidable trials in life.
Here we go- Taking God’s guidance and wisdom and staying focused and not stumbling and setting ourselves up for failure and disappointment. Sounds good but gets harder as we work it in our lives.
Hebrews chapter 12:1-12:3
(v1) “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.”
Remember I said many times that when you see the word therefore, you must go back to the previous chapter to see what it is therefore.
In this case, the writer of Hebrews is redirecting our attention to chapter 11, the faith chapter, which records people of great faith and strong witnesses.
Even the prostitute Rehab, who protected the spies of Israel was shown mercy by God.
They accomplished great things for God.
They endured great pain and suffering much for their faith.
They all were commended for their faith but they all died before the promises of God were finished. They were on the other side of the cross, but held on and believed God for His promises of “being made perfect.”
That is the cloud of witnesses that he is talking about and the group of people that help us in our walk with God.
I am sure each one of us could think of someone that has made an impact on us to walk with Jesus.
Each one of us at some point was invited to church by someone to hear the message of Christ and we responded.
The Bible faithful witnesses were usually martyrs. Today we want to be witnesses as spectators and instead of being a cloud of witnesses, we become just clouds. “Let us run the race with perseverance that has been marked out for us.” What does that mean? It means that if we are to accomplish what God intends, we will persevere, we will not only start the race, but we will finish strong, and we will take as many people with us as we can.
We will surround ourselves with people of faith.
We will throw off everything that hinders.
We will get rid of the sin that so easily entangles us.
Some scholars believe the reference is to all kinds of sin, others believe that is specific sin.
I believe the later. I believe we are to throw off everything that hinders (you know what that is for us)
Get rid of the sin that easily entangles you (you know what that is) and get those things out of your life.
Call it like it is and get rid of them so you can run the race that God intended and finish strong.
There are sins that will cause you to stumble and there are sins that will take you out of the race.
Get rid of them so you can finish strong and accomplish what God intended for you.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus.”
Life is not a 50-yard dash; it is a marathon. As a pastor, I want you to make it to the finish line.
The only way to do that is to focus on Jesus, not your circumstances.
Hebrews 12:2 says, “Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish.” To endure the unendurable you must see the invisible – Jesus.
In dog obedience training, they put a dog at one end of a room and his master at the other end of the room, with a plate of food in the middle. And then the master calls the dog. If the dog eyes the food, he’s a goner; he’ll go straight for it. So they teach the dog to focus his eyes on the master. If the dog keeps his eyes on the master, he won’t be tempted. Instead of heading for the food, he’ll head straight to the master.