Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.

Hebrews 12:1-2a   

Ray Kroc, the legendary CEO of McDonald’s, kept on his office wall an elaborately framed statement by Calvin Coolidge.  It was Kroc’s favorite inspirational quote.  

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with great talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence, determination alone are omnipotent.  

In fact, when Kroc was CEO of McDonald’s, every executive’s office had this statement framed on the wall.  

I can understand why.  I love this quote too.  Endurance is simply one of the most vital traits that anyone can have.  If you have endurance it will make up for a lot of other limitations.  

Certainly, we need endurance in the spiritual life.  For all of us, there are times when we grow weary and lose heart.  We struggle with sin and addictions.  People let us down.  Churches are full of imperfect people.  Prayers go unanswered – or rather, we don’t get the answer we want when we want it.  Marriage can be hard.  Parenting can be overwhelming.  We battle physical pain or mental illness.  

Life is hard.  This is not heaven.  

So we need endurance.  “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”  

In order to endure, God gives us three vital principles:  Take encouragement from others who endured, get rid of anything that holds you back, and especially, fix your eyes on Jesus.  

Jesus endured tough times.  And if we fix our gaze on Jesus, we too can endure.  

Three practical suggestions to help you stay focused on Jesus:  

Take unhurried time to meet with Jesus every day.
Let other things go but don’t neglect time with Jesus.  It is your greatest privilege.  

Practice the presence of God throughout the day. 
He is right there with you all the time.  Live in his presence.  Talk with him.  Draw close.  

Sing to him. 
Worship music is powerful.  It is soul-transforming.  It helps you stay focused on Christ.