Run with Perseverance and Race with Endurance

Jeremiah 12: 5 “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses?  If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?

It was through Jeremiah that God sends words of warning to the Israelites, to change their ways and right themselves with God. And if they did not heed those cautionary words, they would face God’s punishment. In Jeremiah 2 we read about Israel forsaking God and in verse 13 we read “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns (idols), broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”

The Israelites continue sinning and Jeremiah endures hardship at their hands as a result of speaking God’s words. In Jeremiah chapter 12 we read Jeremiah share his frustration of how the wicked seem not only to be spared but also flourishing (grow and bear fruit, verse 2), while he seems to be going through various challenges as he stays obedient to God, doing what He asks of him.

And Jeremiah airs his complaint to God.

Jeremiah 12:1 “Why do the wicked prosper? And why do the faithless live at ease?

As we read on in chapter 12, we understand that Jeremiah seems to want God to hasten up His judgement. He could not understand why God would allow them to prosper while he suffered at their hands.

Have we ever felt similarly? And poured our hearts out to God and wondered why He allows for those who seem to be doing wrong to live at ease.

Scripture reminds us that those who sin and go against God will be held accountable for their actions. Romans 2:6 says “God will give to each person according to what he has done.” Verse 8 says “For those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.”

God’s justice, love and mercy are all perfectly balanced. His justice is imminent but His love and mercy and the desire for people to turn to Him is also prominent and only God can perfectly execute all these in His timing.

God’s delay in judgement was frustrating for Jeremiah, but that delay, was a glimpse into the heart of a merciful God, when He gives time and opportunity for people to repent and turn to Him. And remember that although Jeremiah had challenges, he also had God’s protection as we read in Jeremiah 1:18 “Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall- against the kings of Judah, the officials, the priests and the people. They will fight against you but will not overcome for I am with you and will rescue you.”

Take a moment and think about God’s patience with us. If God was not patient with us and was quick to mete out justice for our wrongs, where would we be. He does not give up on us, and extends that same grace to those who are yet to give their heart to Him. We will not comprehend all aspects of why God does something or His timing, after all, the ways of God are beyond what we can fathom but He allows us to understand more of Him as we pore over scripture.

Even though Jeremiah lays out his heart to god very honestly airing his frustrations and asking God to punish them. He also asks God to check his heart.  He wants God to look into his thoughts.  It is remarkable that although his anger and frustration may feel justified on some levels, he does not want to entertain thoughts that goes against God’s desire for the people.  How often do we do that?

How does God respond to Jeremiah?

His answer is very interesting, He says “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses?  If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?”

God uses two metaphors to help Jeremiah understand. With these metaphors God clarifies to Jeremiah that things would get tougher and God was ensuring that Jeremiah would be made stronger through this process. We never want to go through our tough desert moments but God allows those moments to build us up spiritually, if there is a will and desire in us to surrender and be shaped by Him during those times.

We know that times are not going to get easier for followers of Christ. The contention the world will have with us is not unexpected. If we stumble when things are easier, how would we know to trust and lean on God when times are difficult. How would we have the firmness in our faith to cling to God through it all. Like how Jeremiah needed to learn how to trust God in these smaller challenges and be dependent on Him so that he was more rooted in God to face more trying times, may we too remember that and allow God to strengthen, shape and prepare us in the now.

Competing with a horse in a race seems like a sure loss. And yet God talks about it. The impossibility of winning against a horse feels apparent to us. But what God is reminding Jeremiah and us is that challenges that come our way may seem impossible for us to overcome on our own but when He is with us, that impossibility becomes a possibility. And through Him we are overcomers and victorious.

As followers of Christ, if we truly walk in the path of the Lord, we will encounter moments where we will feel like Jeremiah did, lonely at times, wronged and persecuted by others and look to God with those ‘why’ questions in our heart.

We might not have the answer to the ‘why’ for many questions, but we know with certainty that God is in control, that He is merciful, He desires for all to know Him, He wants us to persevere, endure, grow in His strength and run our race with faithfulness and obedience to the very end. And through it all, He is right there with us building us up and incorporating us in His plans and purposes.

Jeremiah 12:14-17 “This is what the Lord says: “As for all my wicked neighbors who seize the inheritance I gave my people Israel, I will uproot them from their lands and I will uproot the people of Judah from among them. But after I uproot them, I will again have compassion and will bring each of them back to their own inheritance and their own country. And if they learn well the ways of my people and swear by my name, saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives’—even as they once taught my people to swear by Baal—then they will be established among my people.  But if any nation does not listen, I will completely uproot and destroy it,” declares the Lord.”

God proclaims that all those who are wicked in Israel will be removed from their heritage.  
After God has removed the people from their land, He will demonstrate His grace by giving them that which they do not deserve:  Redemption, but this is conditional.  If they are genuinely repentant and become obedient to God, then they will always have a dwelling place in the promised land.  If, however, they fail to learn from their mistakes, then they will be once again removed from Israel, this time with no chance for a second redemption.

May God grant us the strength to stay rooted in Him, to run our race with perseverance and endurance. May He equip and carry us through the tests of today and the challenges of tomorrow so that we continue to shine His light in this world.

God Bless.

25 thoughts on “Run with Perseverance and Race with Endurance

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  1. Your posts always seem to touch on different things I have been going through. Recently I had some “why” questions of my own. It can be hard to understand God’s ways. But you reminded me to be thankful for the times when it seems like the Lord delays, because we can see His mercy in those delays. And you also reminded me to stay rooted in Him at all times – good or bad. This will help build our strength, day by day, as the world continues to become harder for Christians. But He will be right there, holding us up. What a loving Father we have! Thank you for the encouragement! I needed that today! Blessings, dear friend! 🌺❤️

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It warms my heart to know that these words spoke to you. May the Lord fill you with peace as you wait on Him and may He strengthen you as you stay rooted in Him. And as He continues to build you up, may He use you to bring Him glory.
      Blessings to you dear friend 🤗🌺💙

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is really great! When I saw your title I was thinking Hebrews 12:1-2 and so I was really surprised and engaged with Jeremiah. This visual is really helpful as well! I am so thankful for your attention to detail and for how you explain God’s Word! Love, hugs and blessings!!

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    1. Thank you so much Mandy. I initially did not think of perseverance and endurance when I read these verses but as I spent time on it that is what I gleaned from it.
      Blessings to you too 🤗🌺

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Another excellent post, Manu. I kept thinking “Amen!” as I read through this. I’ve definitely become more aware of God’s mercy in prolonging His judgment so that more may be saved. When I think about these things, I ask Him to help me see people more like Him and to understand how lost we all are without Him. And yes, may He give us perseverance to run this race well and help us to trust that He can make our impossibilities a possibility through Him.

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  4. I am not as familiar with these verses as I should be. Thanks for bringing clarity to the passages. I am thankful for God’s patience and mercy to me. What a blessing it is that the Lord cares for us and wants us to persevere, grow, and rely on His strength; while we move forward in His love. Manu, have a wonderful weekend and Mother’s day! 💖🌻🌼🌺

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for the encouragement to stay in the race. Like you mentioned the questions do arise at times but we know God is faithful and will take care of us. I am glad He gives us the strength we need to run with endurance.

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  6. Thanks Manu. I really needed this encouragement today. I used to sigh at the book of Jeremiah. I really didn’t enjoy this book much at all. It’s not a fun story. But one year God showed me so much and I came to love it. Jeremiah 12:5 is one of my favourite verses. It’s a tough one. But I love the way you expressed God’s love and faithfulness in this post. It’s a great reminder to allow God to keep working through the toughest seasons. ❤💙

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much Tina. Like you I have struggled with the book of Jeremiah.
      I am going through it now and looking forward to seeing what God shows me this time.
      Blessings to you my friend 🤗🌺💙


  7. Powerful, God is patient with all of us- the born again and those who are yet to be born again because God knows those who are His. However we humans judge others based on our worldly or human judgements, we don’t know about tomorrow and we are not patient enough to live with ‘eternity mindset’ we want to see things here, now and today but that’s not how God works.

    Instead of looking at those around us whom we consider as evil and feel awful when good things happen to them, let us see them through God’s eyes because for us our eyes have been opened and we know the requirements of righteousness.

    I love the fact that God chose Jeremiah with his human feelings and judgements to be His Prophet in order to reveal to the church their weaknesses even though they call themselves ‘CHRIST FOLLOWERS OR PROPHETS OR PASTORS etc.’. We must all learn to see others through God’s eyes and pray for them always.

    Imagine all of us in HEAVEN lol 😊

    Good news is all this trouble is temporary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like how you described that God called Jeremiah with his human feeling and judgements to be His prophet.
      May we indeed see others his God sees them.
      Blessings to you sis 🤗🌺💙

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I loved what you wrote, “We never want to go through our tough desert moments but God allows those moments to build us up spiritually, if there is a will and desire in us to surrender and be shaped by Him during those times.” As much as I dislike being in the desert, it certainly draws me closer to God and my reliance on Him. There is so much we can learn through those times! Thanks for your encouraging words and message! 😘

    Liked by 1 person

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