• Retah McPherson

Persevere until the end

29 January 2020

The challenge we all face is not to start the race, but to end strong. We as children of God have a call to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness; knowing that all the rest will be added onto us. 

Matt 6:33 But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.

Everything that we go through in life, trains our faith muscles to become strong, enabling us to overcome and endure the trials and tribulations of life. The more we train our faith muscles, the more we will be changed into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ.

Paul called it a race of faith – I love this, because it is exactly how I feel. After a hard day, I sometimes just fall on my knees not knowing if I will be able to get up again. But there, on my face, is where Abba Father meets me. His love lifts me up as He breathes His breath and life over me. He whispers softly and gently to my weary soul, “Come, I will give you grace, and My glory will always cover you".

Like any marathon runner, I too realized that there are challenges along the way that prompts us to give up and quit the race. But our race of faith has no plan B!  Jesus Christ is our only hope. The problem is that we are not trained to endure the tough times.

This is why Paul said to Timothy – train your spirit in Godliness, because that has value for now and eternity.

1 Tim 4:7b-8 Train yourself toward godliness (piety), [keeping yourself spiritually fit]. For physical training is of some value (useful for a little), but godliness (spiritual training) is useful and of value in everything and in every way, for it holds promise for the present life and also for the life which is to come. 

The adversities and difficulties of life include spiritual dryness, a hardened heart, tests of faith where there is no one else to hold onto other than God Himself, feeling overwhelmed by the expectations of others, working for God instead of serving God or working instead of creating, failures, disappointments, sin, broken hearts, pride, criticism, judgement, financial setbacks, physical setbacks, relationship problems, being hard on yourself, unforgiveness and so much more...

I want you to know that there are so many amazing teachers out there, even wonderful books – but the only true lasting help and change will come when you turn your face and dependence to Jesus Christ the Messiah. He is waiting for you with arms wide open.

Heb 12:1-2 Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

When we cry out to Abba Father and take our eyes off of man and start to focus on Jesus alone, our lives will change!

He will teach us to walk with Him, step-by-step, as He leads us. We will learn not to depend on man, but on God alone. In this process, neither our emotions, approval of man, or our own success will motivate us. Jesus, and His plans for our lives, will be our motivation. We will become content and will find joy in that 'eternal dance of life' – our ‘scrolls’ which He designed for us to dance, from before the foundation of the earth.

I am on my last stretch of my USA visit, and have to say that Abba has trained me hard on this trip. I have learned so much about myself, as He exposed the condition of my heart facing unfamiliar places and faces, every day. Each day He placed before me faith or fear. I have learned from everyone I have met on this trip.

Once again, I have learned that if I want stability in my life, I have to fix my eyes on Jesus alone. Only faith in God brings stability. If not, we will grow weary of heart and always live unstable lives. To endure to the end has nothing to do with self-effort, but rather complete dependence on Abba Father, gazing upon Him. Deep in His heart is the only place where I feel safe, and there I can surrender all that concerns my family and I.  In His presence, all the rest becomes shadows in the light of Him.

Abba Father wants us to trust Him completely as we keep our hearts pure and dependent on Him alone. Even Job found the answers he was searching for when he fell on his face and worshiped the Lord.

John 14:1 DO NOT let your hearts be troubled (distressed, agitated). You believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely on God; believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely also on Me.

Late last night I came to my hotel – very, very tired after a long flight and some meetings and very cold NY weather. I could not wait to get to my room to fall ‘on my face’ just to thank Jesus for His protection over me and His faithfulness. He is a good, good Father, having His eyes on us, waiting for us to surrender all to Him!

Thank you is such a small word, but I just want to thank all my USA friends for being Jesus’ hands and feet on this trip for me. I bless you and love you all!

Looking forward to go home and continue to run the race of faith!

Retah

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