Game, Set and Match
Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1v12
This week we witnessed Andy Murray become the World Number One in Tennis. An incredible achievement for the British player and many of us tennis lovers will understand and admire that this didn’t happen overnight for Andy. Having played tennis from a very young age this 29 year old has had to be very dedicated and focused to get to where he is today. Not only has the past 12 months of competitive and gruelling tournaments led to his number one ranking but Murray will have been preparing for this every day since he first picked up his racket.
This has involved years of perseverance and at times, I am sure, extreme and difficult pressures. He will have had to sacrifice many things, stick to healthy fitness and eating regimes when everyone else was tucking into a cheeseburger and say no when everyone else was saying yes. There will have been days, I am certain, that every bone in his body will have ached and everything inside of him will have wanted to give in, walk away, take a break. However reaching his number one status will not have come from giving up. No, reaching his destination has come through perserverance and focus.
A bit like the men and women in the bible who, through extreme and torrid times, maintained their focus on God, even when everything around them was crumbling. Men like Abraham, who waited years for the fulfilment of God’s promise to make him a father of nations. Abraham was over 100 and his wife Sarah was 90 years old when Isaac was born. (Gen17:15-19). Then there is of course Noah, who built a boat even though there had been no rain. Even when all those around him probably thought he was going mad! Then when the time came and the rain began, he had to endure 40 days and 40 nights, not knowing if they would ever reach dry land. And there is more, Moses led the people of Israel for 40 years in the wilderness, Hannah persevered in prayer for a child, Elijah waited for the rain and who could forget Job. He persevered through some of the worst possible events any man or woman could go through. The death of his family, the loss of his livelihood, mocked by his friends and covered in sores. However through is all he refused to blame God and his faithfulness led to God’s restoration.
These men and women endured many tragedies, experienced trials and shed many tears, however there was one thing they all had in common. They kept their focus on God. The looked to him for strength and they asked him to be the one that would sustain them.
What dream are you holding onto today, are you tempted to give up and walk away? Have you stopped believing that God’s promise will come true? Take heart today for God has not abandoned you. If he placed that desire in your heart then he will bring it to fruition. Good things are worth waiting for. Yes, the journey to get there is never easy, you will have to say no when everyone else is saying yes, you will need to focus on God and not the world and you will be tempted. However perserverance develops strength of character and strength of character produces hope (Romans 5:4).
And when we have persevered, when we have reached our final destination may we be able to say as the Apostle Paul “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith”.
Game, Set and Match
Until next time