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Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

- Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)

At age 16, when I joined a six-week bicycle trip through Holland, England, and France, I found Holland manageable, but England’s hills were overwhelming. I hadn’t properly trained for bicycling 30-50 miles daily. I was often alone and lagging behind, especially on the steep climbs. When my travel companions stopped for a quick break, they’d watch for my approach and yell, “Keep going, Jane! Don’t stop!”

Now, when I’m faced with a setback or overwhelmed by challenges, I picture God in the role of my long-ago traveling companions. But God is more than a cheerleader. God is my strength and provider. When I pray for God’s help to keep me going, what seems staggering at the moment becomes straightforward and possible.

Reading about the faith of others in Hebrews 11 and recalling God’s words to Paul in today’s reading encourage me: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Each trial we face is an opportunity for diligence and dedication. We can look beyond the all-consuming task to find in Jesus the strength and encouragement we need to continue.

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Daily devotionals from The Upper Room

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