Going the Distance - Part 1: Battling Discouragement
The Christian life is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a contest with many rounds, not just one. Comparing Christians to athletes, and personalizing it, the Apostle Paul says, “I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:26-27). The picture of a boxer is especially apt, as experience teaches us that we don’t need to go very far in the Christian life before we start taking ‘blows’ or ‘hits.’ In another place, Paul talks about being “struck down” (2 Corinthians 4:9). He goes on to make it clear that he was down, but not out. But, sadly, for many today the ‘knock-out’ rate is high. What are those ‘hooks’ that leave many sprawling on the canvas? They are the same ones that godly people have been experiencing since Bible times. This series bring together some of the notable ‘sucker punches’ that often get thrown at Christians – discouragement, guilt, failure, anxiety, distraction, lust, anger, pride, doubts, greed, divisions and disappointments. It aims to help us to draw on the resource of the Bible’s guidance to enable us to keep our guard up.