Have you ever been out for a long run and reach the moment in your run where everything just starts to feel effortless? Oh, so you have not had that feeling either. I thought it was just me. For most of my life, I have heard runners describe this wonderful moment in their run where they break through this wall and this peace comes over them as they hit their stride. For me, that is just something that I have never experienced. Even as a kid playing sports, I never liked to run. That has not stopped me though from dreaming that maybe one day I will be in good enough shape that I will enjoy running as so many others do.
When most of us examine our lives, we can quickly see things that we would like to do better. Some of those things are goals like getting in better shape and finally being able to go on that long run. Other goals are things like being a better student of the Word and diving deep into scriptures. I don’t know how many times I have heard someone say to me that they truly wished that they had a stronger faith. Goals like this are incredible and I hope each of us, as we see things in our lives like this, has the courage to take these goals head-on and actually do something to reach these goals and turn those dreams into reality. But that’s the problem, isn’t it? For some of us, we dream, think, wish, and even claim to want things to be better. Take for instance me and getting in shape and going on that run. I really should not even call it a goal, and I definitely cannot say it is something that I truly want. I have not been willing to put in the work. You see, what I actually want is a miracle to happen. I want to wake up in the morning, be in reasonably good shape, go out for a nice run where I can breathe, smile, and talk to people as I jog by, and then just go on with the rest of my day. But since miracles have ceased according to 1 Corinthians 13:8-10, if I am going to turn that thought into reality, there is a lot of work I must do if I ever want to break through that wall and finally hit that stride. The same thing is true for those of us that want to be better students of the Word and have that stronger faith. We have to be willing to put in the work.
A lot of us look into scripture or maybe even look around our church buildings and we see people of faith that seem to have hit their stride. From our perspective, things just seem so effortless for some, and we want so desperately to have a faith like that. But there is something that we need to take into consideration. These people that we are looking to have had to overcome obstacles, face adversity, and have truly been tested time and time again. These people that we are looking at and idolizing are possibly going through something right now, and we just do not know about it. When we see people like this or when we read about them in scriptures, we need to remember the obstacles that they had to overcome to get there and possibly the tests that they have to face every single day.
In 1 Samuel 17, David finds himself on the battlefield staring at a large obstacle. That obstacle’s name was Goliath. But even as large of an obstacle as Goliath was, he was just a vessel. The situation that was before the army of Israel and David was to either back down in fear or to stand in faith against the opposition. The real obstacle was fear. David chose to stand in faith, and because of his faith and courage, God delivered the victory. But David was not the only one that had obstacles that he had to overcome.
In the book of Job, we read about how Job suffered so much and at a great personal loss to him and his family. If Job had taken the advice of his own wife in Job 2:9 and chose to curse God and die, we would tell a much different story when we discuss the life of Job. But instead, we tell about how much faith Job had in the face of so much adversity.
David and Job are just two examples of people in scripture that proved their faith time and time again. They are two men that we look to in scripture and hope to have a heart and faith like they did. But we need to remember something: David and Job were not perfect. They both had weaknesses and things that they had to learn and overcome. The truth is that we all face obstacles and encounter things that test our faith. We all have weaknesses, and we will be tempted with sin. New opportunities will arise, and decisions will have to be made. The question is how are we going to respond when moments like this come our way? I know for me, I want to be better, and I hope that you want to be better, too. If we want to have a better knowledge of His Word and make having a better faith more than just a dream, then we have to be willing to put in the work and remember that no matter what obstacle gets in our way, the Lord is on our side and we can overcome. So today, let’s break through that wall that is holding us back, and let’s choose to be better.