The Pace Of Endurance

People exercising at fitness gym

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with ENDURANCE the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne (Hebrews 12: 1-2 NLT).

I was going for a jog on the treadmill the other day. It was the first time that I had been running in a couple of weeks, so my stamina wasn’t quite where I would have liked it to be. Foolishly, I still tried to complete my workout as if I had been consistently training. Needless to say, this was a mistake. About halfway through the workout, I began to get tired and cramp up. Just as I was about to jump off the treadmill and give up, something rose up within me and I began to speak God’s word over myself. I began repeating over and over, “Greater is he that is within me, than he that is in the world.”

I had to slow down the treadmill a little bit and run at a slower pace, but that encouragement was enough to keep my legs moving. For the rest of the workout, I felt the Holy Spirit guiding me. He told me when to slow the treadmill down, and at what point I could speed it up again. He knew exactly how much I could take and for how long if I was going to reach my goal at the end of the workout. When it was all said and done, I experienced a little more pain that I would have hoped, but I completed my goal for distance in pretty good time. God knew exactly what pace I needed to run at in order to run with the endurance to reach the finish line. This is exactly what he promises to do in our race of faith.

Running this race of faith can be downright confusing and difficult sometimes. When we hand over our lives to Christ, we are making the commitment to trust Him no matter how we feel or what the circumstances look like. We are putting faith in His sovereignty, and believing that all things will eventually come together for good, even when it doesn’t make worldly sense. But it is so awesome that we serve a God who didn’t just come and say, “Here is the goal. I want you to run 1,000 miles over the next 40 years at a pace of 8 minutes per mile. Good luck!” Thankfully, we serve a God who says that He will not only run with us every step of the way, but He will even order our steps (Psalm 37:23 & Proverbs 16:9).

The fact of the matter is that God can see so much more than we can see in our limited understanding. His ways are so much higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9). He knows more about our race of faith that we could ever conceive. He knows exactly where we are. He knows when it is time for us to speed up and when it is time to slow down. He knows the exact pace at which we can run if we are going to run with the endurance necessary to fulfill the plans He has laid before us.

What does that look like in our lives? Sometimes, it may take the form of a tremendous obstacle or hardship that God is using to send a message that it is time to slow down and connect with Him. It could be that He is allowing that obstacle to redirect our path in order to protect us from an even more difficult obstacle down the road. It could be the exact opposite. We could be in a season where it seems like nothing can get in our way. He may be blessing us with a mighty capacity to run far and fast because He knows that we are currently in a place where we can sustain that pace and not lose sight of Him.

No matter what your present situation is, God knows exactly where you are and exactly what you need. He knows if it is time to speed up or slow down. Your only job is to relinquish control of the process and trust Him. Not only can He see your finish line, but He ordained it. He designed you to run at a certain pace for a specified period of time. The more we submit to that design, the less painful the process and the greater our endurance. Lean into God today, ask Him if it is time to speed up or slow down. Give Him control, and let Him establish your pace of endurance.

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Around The World: Christians in Malaysia to Fight for Rights after Court Ruling on Conversion #Christian Headlines

What happened to the treaty signed in Westphalia for freedom of religion? In short why are people so keen on religion and not the belief and faith? Am so tired of people imposing laws on religion that doesn’t have any meaning to one’s everlasting life or where he or she is going to be in eternity. Surfing the internet and cane across this post in Malaysia refusing to allow four Muslims convert to Christianity.

According to a source, In the wake of the highest court in Malaysia refusing to hear an appeal by four Christians wanting to officially convert out of Islam, Christian leaders continued to hold hope for change.

In a country where there is no legal way to leave Islam, the four people were asking the Federal Court to have their names and their faith changed on their national identity cards. On Tuesday(Feb. 27) the court held that the four people were Muslims and hence fell under the jurisdiction of the Sharia (Islamic law) Court system, and that it must adjudicate matters of Islamic law.

The five-member panel of the Federal Court unanimously ruled that civil courts had no jurisdiction to decide on apostasy cases. The four converts held that the Shariah Courts had no power to decide apostasy cases under state laws because they are no longer Muslims.

Court of Appeal President Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin wrote that although no such legal provision for deciding apostasy cases existed in the law, there were clauses in it that Shariah Courts could apply.

The Federal Court decision helps clear up a gray area in apostasy cases in Malaysia, but bewilderment remains as Shariah Courts are state courts subject to different state laws. Furthermore, the Federal Court ruled in January that the federal civil court has the final say on legal matters even as they pertain to Muslims.

Hence after the verdict, Joshua Baru, son of the four converts’ attorney, Baru Bian, said the decision “seems to suggest a double standard of the jurisdiction of the civil courts and the interpretation of [the federal constitution].”

Christian leaders, meantime, held out hope. The Metropolitan Archbishop of Kuching, capital of Sarawak state, Simon Peter Poh Hoon Seng, issued a statement asserting Christians should not give up.
“Next, we should pray that the lawmakers will table a just law to face this issue,” Poh said. “Do not lose hope. By the way, I was at the court hearing yesterday, and I testify that the judges were very neutral and fair. Pray, continue to pray. With God, nothing is impossible.’”

Gracious words amid the emotions that ran high on all sides; the Malaysian Insight noted that the archbishop was indeed present at the hearing, and then was heckled by demonstrators trying to jostle him as he exited the court.

At the same time, Christian organizations, including the Association of Churches in Sarawak, have reportedly appointed senior lawyers Leonard Shim and Libat Langub as amicus curae (friends of the court) to monitor their interests. The Sarawak Dayak Iban Association, which represents the state’s largest ethnic group, and the Methodist Church in Malaysia, the Sarawak Ministers Fellowship and the Sarawak Evangelical Churches Association have appointed lawyers to hold a watching brief.

Three of the four appellants were raised as Christians but converted to Islam in order to marry Muslims. Jenny Peter divorced her Muslim husband in 2006 and returned to Christianity. Salina Jau was divorced by her Muslim husband in 1992, and then she returned to Christianity. Tiong Choo Ting began to practice Christianity after his Muslim wife died in 2007. All three signed “statutory declarations” that they intended to return to Christianity.

The fourth person, Syarifah Nooraffyzza, is an ethnic Malay raised as a Muslim. According to the Malaysian Constitution, all ethnic Malays are Muslims – a principle upheld in the case of Lina Joy, who was denied her right to leave Islam in 2007 and convert to Christianity.

Syarifah filed a document stating that she no longer practices Islam, and she was baptized in 2009, according to published reports. She is asking to change her identity card from Muslim to Christian and to change her name to Vanessa Elizabeth.
She as well as the other three people are “still Muslims on papers,” according to an appeals court. For the moment, they must take their cases back to Sharia Court to try to get letters of apostasy.