Congratulations! We are on Day 20 of 21 Days of Prayer. Nothing New Under the Sun.
That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9 NASB).
The test you take today will be taken again and the challenges that you have had this year will challenge you again. In other words, you're not alone. Every test and everything that challenges you now, has been a test and a challenge to someone else before you.
When you're going through something that is so intense that it makes you feel like you're suffering alone, shake yourself and remember, you're not the first. Someone, somewhere has faced what you're going through and won the battle. So know this ~ if they can win, so can you!
STRATEGIES THAT WIN
Another scripture that makes the same point but ALSO tells us how to win, is Hebrews 12:1. It says, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, ..."
This passage is looking back to the various stories outlined in Chapter 11, called the Hall of Faith, where other men and women were tested, fought and are now cheering us on to victory. You are not alone in the fight!
Not only are we encouraged to know that there is an enormous group of people who have been tested in the way that we are being tested (or worse), but this is a picture of us on the center field of a stadium, surrounded by these "witnesses"! As they now watch us face the test, notice that we are also taught how to win.
We must rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way (weight); the things of life that weighs you down and slows your progress; carrying additional weight in the midst of a battle leads to discouragement. If you want victory in 2020, figure out what's weighing you down. What's sapping your drive and draining your desire to press on? Identity it and get rid of it.
We must rid ourselves of the sin that holds on to us so tightly. Everyone has something that they're especially vulnerable to. Some things are harder to resist than others. It has a unique grip on you and you find yourself giving in to it, even when you don't want to. You know it's wrong. You shouldn't do it. You know better but you just can't seem to do better. The point is, only you can identify those "easily besetting" sins and then take definitive steps to remove them.
GLASS HALF FULL OR HALF EMPTY
When we realize that there's nothing new under the sun, that means there isn't one thing that you're trying to resist, conquer or win at, that hasn't been done before! Fortunately, Hebrews 12 has more advice to help.
"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2 KJV)".
To conquer the things that oppose your journey to victory in 2020, keep your eyes on Jesus! This is simple but we have to admit, it's not easy. But, if you are really interested in achieving your goals, take it from this "cloud of witnesses" who have been there and done it.
We must truly commit to a winning mindset. A new way of thinking. A different view of life and how we see every test that comes our way. There is an old saying about choosing to see a glass half empty or half full. When you are tested, how do you see the glass that is opposing your success? This, my friend, is what it really means to walk by faith and not by sight (II Corinthians 5:7).
When we keep our eyes on Jesus, we see Him enduring the cross and despising the shame. That's part of the process. When you endure, you are holding out against an opposing force. You are tolerating the circumstances while refusing to yield. You despise the pain, the suffering and the sheer stress of what you're going through, but by faith, you also know something very important. You know, that this will only last for a season, and when your "due" season is accomplished (Galatians 6:9), you will reap your reward as long you don't faint before it's over.
LET THE RECORD SHOW
The record speaks for itself!
"For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin (Hebrews 12:1-4 KJV)."
If you follow these principles, it has already been proven that you can and you will succeed. Familiarize yourself with biblical principles that support your goals. Choose to change. Don't be ashamed. Make up your mind and own it by letting everyone in your circle know how serious you are. Tell them, say it to yourself and tell them again. When you do, you'll have a story to tell. You'll be able to encourage someone else. Your experience will be the advice that a loved one really needs. You see, there's nothing new under the sun and you can prove it because now your history is evidence that cannot be denied.
Lord, I am taking this year for the mission that you've called me to. Thank you for a history that encourages me and teaches me how to win. As I delight in Your agenda for life, I am also open and receptive to those new challenges that will make me stronger, draw me closer to You and equip me to be a witness for others who come after me. My faith is now fixed to endure the test, tolerate the discomfort and to remember the victory that awaits all those who stay in the battle until the end. I'm keeping my eyes on You and the fullness of Your glory working through me until I win! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!
Seasoning Faith, Pastor Sean
P.S.: If you don't know Jesus as your Lord and Savior and want to be born again, pray this prayer aloud:
Lord God, forgive me for my sins. Jesus, come into my heart. I make you, Jesus, my Lord and Savior. Amen.
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