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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus....For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart. - Hebrews 12:1-3
Any runner will tell you that the toughest part of a race is not the end-it's just before the end. Most milers, for example, find that the third lap (of four) is usually their slowest. That's when you feel dog tired and wonder why you ever started running in the first place.
That's how faith is. At some point, after they've been Christians for several years, many believers encounter what I call the "mid-faith crisis." It's characterized by restlessness; a desire to return to the days of youth; a questioning of commitments, identity and personal values; and a loss of enthusiasm for work, marriage, family.
Have you lost your zest for life? Lost your love for people? Kind of bored with God and with church? Can't be impressed anymore? Do you have joy?
Is your job a chore or are you doing it as unto the Lord? Are you wondering why your circumstance seems so unfair?
Do you find you can't remember when you last confessed a sin to God? Are temptations becoming more alluring? Are you in a valley?
There are no simple answers for a time like this. Life is difficult. It isn't ever going to be easy. As Mick Yoder, a good friend who lost his six-year-old son in a plane crash four days before Christmas, said, "Life wouldn't be so hard if we didn't expect it to be so easy."
Some of us expect the Christian life to be one of endless prosperity, when we will feel little pain. This is called the "Prosperity Gospel." Well, Christ didn't enjoy this type of prosperity when He lived, did He? Whenever you are weary of the race, follow the advice of Hebrews 12: Keep your eyes on Him and keep on running to win.