‘However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. ‘ Acts 20:24
The Holy Spirit had been warning Paul of the trials that he would face on his way to Jerusalem. Even though there would be hardships and jail time for Paul, he would not let those things keep him from staying on course with the race he was running and what he was called to do. In Matthew 10:39 (NLT) it states, “If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.” Because Paul had discovered this truth as he preached the Good News everywhere and suffered many trials and even facing death, he faith deepened and his call solidified. He was confident and boldly confessed his belief, which showed through action.
I wonder how many people would have become a Christian had they known that being a Christian would be trials and discipline as they became closer to Jesus? Paul took ownership of his faith and had his eyes, not on the suffering and hardship he was to face and has faced, focused on finishing the race and receive the prize.
I had to think about my own struggles, and I have found that my eyes have been taken off the prize and onto the struggles around me and the trials that will be before me. Today, I began to spiral down into the depth of self-criticism and even condemnation. However, as I went on, I felt the Holy Spirit call out to me to focus not on the struggles but start claiming and confessing my purpose and who I am in Christ. I felt release and things began to look totally brighter. Praise God! When I am starting to take the road that leads me to focus on the struggles, I need to confess, take ownership of the race I am called to run and focus on the prize before me.
Jesus, thank you for speaking to me on the road this morning when I had my eyes focused on the challenges I have and the problems before me. Give me the strength and the words to solidify my faith in you and to confirm your call in my life. I am so thankful that you brought me from where I was this morning to the place where you see me. I love you and praise You for being the reason I have hope! Amen.