PROMISES FOR WINNING RUNNERS
POWER TO PERSEVERE
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13
We are encouraged by the testimony of an experienced runner, making us aware how we may be energized to constantly, consistently keep on going on. We may realize from the context of our text that the word “do” might also be translated “endure.”
The course that the Lord has set the Christian racer on is an endurance race. We are taught to run with patience, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith,” Heb. 12:1-3. The route that we are placed on will make demands beyond all human resources. It will take far more than all I have to finish (as a winner) with joy - Acts 20:24.
Over the long course, we come to realize that there is much human weakness, yet He has promised that “they that wait upon the Lord shall…run, and not be weary…walk and not faint” – Isa. 40:31.
Those earnestly running must take hold of the promise by faith of being “strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.” Oh, yes, it is “according to the power that worketh in us.” We do well to let Him work - Eph. 3:16. We learn to depend upon Him that “strengthens us with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness”– Col. 1:11.
“Ye did run well; who did hinder you that you should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you” – Gal. 5:7-8. God had used Paul to call saints to this race, and neither the Lord nor Paul had persuaded the saints to use carnal nor legal means. There will be no winners independent of His strength.
CONSIDER THE PERSUASION THAT PAUL USED
“Beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love…in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises…And so, after he (Abraham) had patiently endured, he obtained the promise” – Heb. 6:9-12,15.
“I can do” – We have expressed the confidence of an experienced runner - Phil. 1:6; with 4:10-12. We do well to let our course be chartered with this spiritual example, Verse 9.
“All things” – Paul not only includes the total contents of the race, but, no doubt, the completeness of divine enablement. He could say, whatever the hurdles, however high the obstacles, how hard some things seem to be to get over, or how steep the climb, or long the race, nor strong the winds of adversity, nor swift the winning pace, we are able, for He is able.
“Through Christ” – The total enablement is divine, for Jesus said, “…without me ye can do nothing” John 15:5. Everything we receive from God our Father comes to us through our dear Lord Jesus Christ.
“Which strengtheneth me” – He found me in the ditch, left for death to swallow up. He picked me up bound up my sounds, pouring in oil and wine. He has wonderfully poured out for us the power of swift spiritual progress, so that each step we take, we know that He is leading us to higher ground, for He ever leads us home. Praise God!!
PROVISION TO PREVAIL
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” Phil. 4:19.
Are we able to say with Paul, “His grace is sufficient for me?” Have you noticed that there are five verses between the mention of the incomprehensible peace, energizing power and this exhaustless provision? The Lord would have us finish as winners; therefore He has supplied the total wherewith to get there with.
Unbelief will cause some to draw back, and others to try to hold back a little in reserve, instead of going “all out.” I believe if we will wisely use all that He has given us, we will find that there is always more available. Let us not be afraid of running out of go-power before we get to the end.
“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” - I Peter 5:10-11.
What can we possibly give God that He hasn’t already given us; say maybe over and over and over again. He that spared not His own Son, that He might freely give us all things, is indeed rich toward them that call on Him in truth.
It is clear according to Scripture that the earnest runner could never use up “all grace.” “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound in every good work” - II Cor. 9:8.
In immeasurable wealth of divine enablement, oh, what meager checks we write on the bank of divine sufficiency! Let us appropriate and use wisely for His glory.