In Bjorn's message a few weeks ago, he talked about learning to run the hurdles. When he first started training the coach told him to keep his eyes looking up. He was warned that if he looked at the hurdle, he would knock it over. Sure enough, in those early days he couldn't help but look at the hurdle and of course, down it went (and probably so did he a lot of the time!). As he continued training, he learned to keep his head up and his eyes forward. The result? Facing each hurdle and clearing it as he ran down the track.
The parallel to our spiritual lives is obvious. We'd be kidding ourselves if we pretended that our day to day race was always smooth and trouble-free. We are constantly up against one roadblock or another and sometimes there seems to be more roadblock than road in front of us. But we know that Christ has overcome the world and that we are more than conquerors in Him. So how do we train ourselves raise our eyes up and fix them on Jesus instead of the hurdle that we're facing? How do we live out this victorious life that we've been given?
In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul tells the church that we have every reason to hope and to never give up. It's not about removing our trouble; it's great when that happens but it's not guaranteed. It's about understanding what enduring faith and dependance on God is producing in our lives for eternity. Talk about focusing on something other than the hurdle you're trying to jump over!
I'm looking forward to unpacking these verses with you on Sunday morning.