I’m helping a friend of mine train for her first half-marathon. Each week we’re increasing the mileage on our long run by 1 mile. It doesn’t sound like it would be that hard to increase from a 7 mile run to an 8 mile run to a 9 mile run. But believe me, it is (this I know from personal experience). Each Saturday as we run further than the last, our legs get tired, our bodies have aches in all kinds of weird places, and there’s always the temptation to stop.
But my friend and I have totally different responses to the fatigue and pain.
She’s not sure if she can keep going, and on most runs she stops to walk. I, on the other hand, know that I can finish the run no matter how much it hurts. How do I know this? Because I have personal experience. I’ve run 22 miles in the pouring rain. I finished a 26.2 mile marathon in extremely hot conditions. I was battling painful injuries during both of those and neither time did I stop to walk. So there is no doubt in my mind that I can keep going and push through the pain no matter how tired I get. Physically, I can finish the run each week. For me, it’s a mental battle of whether or not I’m willing to push through to the end.
Because of personal experience, I have confidence. I have the power of belief. I know without a shadow of a doubt what I can do. And no one will convince me that I can’t do something just because they say I can’t.
What if we would take hold of the power of belief and apply it to every aspect of our life?
What if we would stop listening to people who say we can’t do something? We’re not good enough? We’ll never make it?
What if we would stop listening to our inner voice that says it’s okay to give up? It’s not that important anyway? We’re not going to finish strong so why even try?
What if we would stop listening to those around us that say that God doesn’t really exist? Reading the Bible and praying is a waste of time? Christians are narrow-minded and naïve?
What if we started living based on our personal experience and not the words of other people?
What if we started exploring the possibilities of what could be instead of mulling the certainties of what isn’t?
What if we started pursuing Jesus Christ as our Savior so that we’d have personal experience to draw from in our faith walk?
The power of belief is ours for the taking. And it’s ours to hold onto. We can’t let anyone talk us in circles so that we’re not sure of what’s true anymore.
One thing that we can know with certainty, without a shadow of a doubt, is that there is always hope for tomorrow. I know this from personal experience. Hope does not rest in what we can do. Hope does not rest in what anyone around us can do. Hope rests solely in what Jesus Christ has already done for us. And that will never change. Believe it.
“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
May I pray?
Jesus, sometimes we know what we believe and we can feel the power in it. But often we’re not sure what to believe, or others challenge us or try to change our mind. Help us to draw on personal experience and stand firm in what we know is true, about ourselves and about You. And Lord, for those who aren’t sure about You, please help them to see something new today that will give them a glimpse of Your love and Your power in their life. Amen.
Q4U: What is something that you know is true, even if others don’t believe it?