“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.” (Heb. 12:1.)
I am pretty sure we all have seen runners training for events that they are involved in. Some carry weights in their hands to aid in building up their strength. The verse in Hebrews 12:1 is not speaking about “training weights” but is referring to weights which become distractions and stumbling blocks in our Christian progress.
Physically I have a rough road to walk over the past months which caused me to consider the attitudes that would easily drag me down and cause me to lose “patience” in my journey with the Lord.
Let me share some of the attitudes I realized would be destructive weights in my own life.
One of the most destructive weights is the attitude of despondency. Despondency will quickly cause the heart to become “heavy” and is a weight that will surely drag us down in our holiness and usefulness to the Lord.
A good example of the destructiveness of despondency is the Children of Israel when they were marching to the Promised Land. The attitude of despondency spread quickly from heart to heart which in turn led to a toxic murmuring among the people. The result of this murmuring caused them to fail to enter the Promised Land at God’s timing!
Think about this for a minute!
Just a faint desire to complain and be discontented among a few quickly blossomed and ripened into rebellion and ruin.
What a powerful lesson for us to learn!
This leads me to the next “weight” that we must avoid at all cost. This weight is doubt.
Doubt will eat into the fabric of our soul like an acid and cause us to question God’s “agape” love and faithfulness to us in everything that touches our lives.
A warning word of caution……………It is very easy to fall into the “habit” of doubting, fretting, and wondering if God has forsaken us and all our hopes are to end in failure.
I have good news for you though…………… We can set our will against doubt and as we stand firm and refuse to give in to doubt, the Holy Spirit will come to our aid and give us the faith in God that we need at the time of testing!
The third “weight” which the devil loves to use on those who are “running the race” is sadness.
Sadness discolors everything; it leaves all objects charmless; it involves future prospects in darkness; it deprives the soul of all its aspirations, enchains all its powers, and produces a mental paralysis!
How do we defeat the weight of sadness? By cultivating the spirit of gladness!
Gladness puts the soul so in tune that Satan is wary of touching it—the chords of the soul become too warm, or too full of heavenly electricity, for Satan’s infernal fingers, and it defeats his attempts to rob the soul filled with gladness. Satan is always very reluctant of meddling with the child of God when their heart is full of gladness and the joy of the Holy Ghost.
So what actions should we practice daily?
Let us refuse to be discouraged.
Let us refuse to be unhappy.
Let us cultivate the spirit of gladness.
Let us “count it all joy” even when we cannot feel one emotion of happiness.
Let us rejoice by faith, by resolution, by reckoning, and we shall surely find that God will make the reckoning real!