God offers some amazing gifts of the Spirit to help His people to share the gospel and bring blessing to others. I’m sure that there are many of us who would love to have the gifts of miracles or healing, or perhaps the gifts of prophecy or words of knowledge? But there is something perhaps more necessary and even more powerful than these gifts, that is also more important to acquire than these gifts. Without it, our witness is undermined and our credibility is diminished. With it, our witness is strengthened and our credibility is buttressed. Of all the virtues commended in the New Testament, apart from love, endurance is the most commended.
By your endurance you will gain your lives.
Jesus Christ (Luke 21:19)
I want to encourage those of you who do not feel that your witness for Christ or contribution into His Kingdom is anything significant – yet you have endured setbacks, disappointments, and hardships and remained faithful to Christ, His Word, and His Church. Well done! You, then, are the beneficiaries of the apostle Paul’s Romans 15:5 prayer…
Kim and I watched a horror movie last night called, The Barkley Marathon. I might be the only one who considers this documentary about a race through Tennessee’s Frozen Head State Park a “horror” movie. But consider things from my point of view: Only 40 contestants each year are accepted into this 200km foot race, which includes 5 laps of a National Park with each lap being different. It involves ascending and descending over mountainous terrain. All the while, each contestant is wearing a backpack – as each lap takes between 10 to 15 hours to complete. Runners stop between laps for just a few minutes for napping and calorie refuelling. To put things in perspective, this race is the equivalent of running the Overland Track from Dove Lake to Lake St. Clair and then running back again, and then turning around at Dove Lake and running to Mount Ossa (with the allowance for the fact that Mt. Ossa is only one third of the ascent of Frozen Head State Park)! Only 14 people have ever completed the Barkley Marathon! And as we were watching this horror movie, one of the contestants said something truly stunning to the Documentary maker!