Stay Your Course, Finish Your Race, Fulfill Your Purpose!
This morning we continue on “Faith and Patience – the Power Twins.”
“Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Amplified Bible)
“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because He never lost sight of where He was headed–that exhilarating finish in and with God–he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.” (Message Bible)
looking unto Jesus, the [a]author and [b]finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.(New King James Version)
Let’s seek to glean a few golden nuggets from our text:
1. Jesus is the leader and source of our faith: Jesus is why we came to God. He is why we first believed. It is through His blood that we are saved. He initiated our faith walk.
2. Jesus is also the Finisher of our faith: Jesus ensures that we have every opportunity to develop and become fully mature. Remember, James taught us that the testing of our faith develops patience (1:3) and that when patience is fully developed in our lives, we become complete, mature, and lacking nothing (1:4). For Jesus to ensure that we mature, He must give us opportunities for our faith to be tested.
3. Jesus is also our example: We are to study how Jesus did it. He knew where He was headed. He knew that He had to endure the death of the cross. He struggled with that reality in the garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:42), but he decided that his purpose was greater than his predicament. He knew that His calling was greater than His crisis. He decided to put up with anything he had to put up with to fulfill His purpose and because of it, He is back in heaven, established in His rightful position of authority and we are saved today, for those that believe on Him, today, because of it!
So what does this mean to you today? It means that our faith must be developed to produce patience and our patience must be developed if we are to fulfill our purpose. Knowing where you are going is one thing, but having the determination to “stay the course,” no matter what may come your way is something else altogether. Remember that Jesus is our example. He stayed His course, finished His race, and fulfilled His purpose. Our goal now is to do the same!
Words of Wisdom and Clarity: Couple of things here. This can be difficult if you have no idea where you are going or why. That is why it is so critical that we seek the face of God and get clear vision and understanding from Him so we know what to do when we need to do it. Secondly, we have the grace to run OUR race, nobody else’s. Meaning, stop comparing yourself to other believers!!! What God has for them is for them and what God has for you in for you! So, stop being jealous or envious of other believers, and the blessings they may have or don’t have. That is none of your business because you have a purpose and your purpose is not theirs and vice versa. Please do not get caught up in this trap because it will rob you of your joy in God and make you quit and give up, therefore, making you stop walking in faith and patience. Please don’t let this be you!
Also, look at Jesus’ obedience here! He never gave up, so let this be an example to you as well and walk in godly obedience as well. Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Walk in obedience through the power of the Holy Spirit. We are here today because of Jesus’ obedience. We never know who can be on the other side of our obedience so please do what God is telling you to do. It’s not just about us but those we come in contact with!
Also, look it says, “for the joy set before Him”. That is very key because the joy Jesus would feel was greater than the loss or the pain he was feeling right now. That joy kept Him going when He might not have felt like it. Let this be a blessing and example to us as well. I’m reminded of a scripture where it says, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” 2 Cor 4:17 (King James Version). So, this affiliation is temporary but it is nothing to the Glory that we will experience later. So, keep your eyes on the prize, don’t lose hope, don’t give in, stay the course and be blessed!
Closing prayer: Lord God. I declare that Your Son Jesus is both the author and the finisher of my faith. He gives me opportunities for my faith to be tested and by help of the Holy Spirit and direction in Your Word, I pass every test. The testing of my faith develops patience and the development of my patience produces maturity. I am strong. I am developed. I am mature. I have staying power. I stay my course, I finish my race, and I fulfill my purpose; and I do it all by faith and with patience. In Jesus’ name. Amen!